Today’s News - Thursday, November 19, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking a Thanksgiving Day break to contemplate how much we have to be thankful for, even in this weird world we're all stuck in - and start planning for next year's celebration - with friends and family - in person! We'll be back Tuesday, December 1. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe.
● ANN feature: Patrick MacLeamy: In this excerpt from his new book, "Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK," the former HOK CEO contends that just as buildings need strong foundations, companies on firm footing stand a better chance of long-term success.
● Patrick Sisson takes a deep (and fascinating) dive into "how a federal volunteer corps could enlist architects to design not just buildings, but a new social fabric. The nation doesn't need more Hoover Dams as much as it needs a corps of architects to help fix what's broken," from housing to "restoring our natural land and ecosystems."
● Betsky considers how COVID-19 "has brought the profession to an apparent standstill - so far, I see the pandemic leading only to the design of cleaner surfaces and not more experimentation" - projects like the Driehaus Prize winners present "the true opportunity for the discipline - in the struggle for true sustainability and social equity."
● Edward Gunts explains why "Modernist architects may have dodged a bullet" with the election of Joe Biden - "there's a good chance" that the "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" EO won't be signed, giving Biden "a chance to rethink many other real estate- and architecture-oriented decisions that Trump has never resolved" (like: where to build a new FBI HQ; U. S.-Mexico border wall; fencing around the White House; Mount Rushmore(!); etc.).
● Architect D'Arcy Jones gives (mostly) thumbs-up to BIG & DIALOG's "daring" and "brawny" Vancouver House - "a symbol of structural audacity and soaring real estate values" with "a nonchalant personality - major moves were handled with aplomb. But value engineering's inevitable effects show up in some smaller details."
● Justin Davidson considers the almost-completed 52-story 200 Amsterdam Avenue in NYC that "may soon have to be partly undone" - lopping off the top 20 or so floors - "a slow-motion decapitation from the inside out, which is about as gruesome as it sounds."
● Adele Peters, on a brighter note, parses HGA's prefab STAAT Mod (Strategic, Temporary, Acuity-Adaptable Treatment), "Lego-like modular ICU rooms turning hospital parking lots into COVID-19 units."
● Anthony Pak of Priopta, a Life Cycle Assessment consultancy, considers embodied carbon, and offers his "basic primer on material-by-material assessment, focusing on the biggest carbon considerations for each material" - Architecture 2030's Carbon Smart Materials Palette website "is among the best resources for further research."
● The Museum of Modern Art announces the establishment of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment, "dedicated to understanding the interaction between architecture and ecology" and "highlighting the urgent need for an ecological recalibration."
● The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy launches the Center for Geospatial Solutions "to expand the use of advanced technology to manage land and water resources with precision," and "will prioritize access to people and communities that have been historically marginalized, governments in the developing world, under-resourced non-profit organizations, start-ups," etc.
● Yesomi Umolu will take the reins of London's Serpentine Galleries next year as the inaugural director of curatorial affairs and public practice - the native Londoner is now the director and curator of Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago, and was the artistic director of last year's Chicago Architecture Biennial.
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Artist Gordon Huether: "Amid Social & Economic Uncertainties, Major Public Art Welcomes & Elevates. We are in difficult times, and cost concerns may affect plans for site-specific art. Yet, if there was ever a time that art mattered, when art could unite us, this is that time" (his installations for the Salt Lake City Airport prove it).
Weekend diversions + Page-turners:
● The World Architecture Festival launches new WAFVirtual, November 30 - December 4 (free registration!) - speakers will include Jeanne Gang, Ben van Berkel and Sir Peter Cook.
● Design Miami/ 2020, themed "America(s)" curated by Aric Chen, kicks off next Friday with 10 international design galleries, four Curio presentations, and much more.
● "Memphis: Plastic Field" at the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, U.K., "will explore the subversive and irreverent spirit of the Memphis Group" with "the design collective's most significant objects whose bold and playful look pushed boundaries - full of punch and vitality."
● Welton cheers Steve Kroeter's Louis I. Kahn Facsimile Project to reissue "The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn," by one of his students and early employees, Richard Saul Wurman, that has been out of print for almost 50 years.
● Cole Akers, Curator + Special Projects Manager at The Glass House, brings us a great interview with Janna Ireland re; her book "Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer's View," the importance of Williams' work, and more.
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ANN feature: Patrick MacLeamy: The Pyramid Strategy: In this excerpt from his new book, "Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK," the former HOK CEO contends that just as buildings need strong foundations, companies on firm footing stand a better chance of long-term success.- ArchNewsNow.com
Patrick Sisson: A Fresh New Deal: How a federal volunteer corps could enlist architects in building a better nation: ...considering the impact of the nation’s most famous public works program offers a thrilling prospect: uniting around a new national vision that asks architects and engineers to design not just buildings, but a new social fabric...The nation doesn’t need more Hoover Dams...as much as it needs a corps of architects to help fix what’s broken, whether that be housing or massive investments in restoring our natural land and ecosystems...A program proactively putting architects to work...could potentially pay big dividends. -- Kate Orff/SCAPE; Bryan Lee Jr./Colloqate Design; Colin Brice/Mapos- AIA Architect
Aaron Betsky: Architecture in Limbo: how the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the profession to an apparent standstill: ...so far, I see the pandemic leading only to the design of cleaner surfaces and not more experimentation...It is the discovery of memory, beauty, and meaning in the existing built landscape, and the use of architecture to unlock the possibilities there, that seems like the true opportunity for the discipline...the utilization of our knowledge and skills in the struggle for true sustainability and social equity, these are the projects I hope to explore once the long hiatus of the pandemic comes to a close.- Architect Magazine
Edward Gunts: Classicism, walls, and other design issues may fall to a new presidential administration: Modernist architects...may have dodged a bullet when Joe Biden was declared the winner...Trump’s draft executive order "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" still could be put into effect while he’s in office. But...there’s a good chance that it won’t be, and...Biden won’t see the need for it...will have a chance to rethink many other real estate- and architecture-oriented decisions that Trump has weighed in on but never resolved. The list includes: Selecting a site for a new FBI headquarters; National Garden of American Heroes; U. S.-Mexico border wall; Fencing around the White House; Mount Rushmore; etc.- The Architect's Newspaper
D’Arcy Jones: International Icon: Vancouver House, Vancouver, British Columbia: The daring [project] is a symbol of structural audacity and soaring real estate values: cantilevers dramatically over the Granville Bridge, following the mandated setback lines...resulting brawny tower has a nonchalant personality that belies its virtuosic structural engineering and labour-intensive architectural coordination...incongruity between what the building is saying, versus how it says it, is a theme that runs through the project, with uneven but ultimately satisfying results...major moves were handled with aplomb. But value engineering’s inevitable effects show up in some smaller details. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group;. DIALOG- Canadian Architect magazine
Justin Davidson: How Do You Chop 20 Stories Off a Too-Tall Building? Now that the 52-story tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue is almost done, it may soon have to be partly undone...crews now putting on the final touches will have to start unraveling the top 20 or so floors, breaking freshly installed glass, slicing through new steel beams, and grinding down recently poured concrete...narrow, stretched-out tower...has turned area residents into self-appointed land-use experts...If the ruling stands, Upper West Siders will witness a slow-motion decapitation from the inside out, which is about as gruesome as it sounds. -- Elkus Manfredi- Curbed
Adele Peters: These Lego-like modular ICU rooms are turning hospital parking lots into COVID-19 units: While traditional construction of an intensive care unit might take 12 to 24 months, this can be put in place in just a few weeks: The prefab system, called STAAT Mod (Strategic, Temporary, Acuity-Adaptable Treatment), has the same complex features as standard hospital rooms...Boldt Company reached out to HGA - which designs hospitals - and suggested partnering on prefab modules...can be configured to meet the needs of a particular site... -- Kurt Spiering; Kate Mullaney; Kyle Weisman- Fast Company / Co.Design
Anthony Pak/Priopta: Embodied Carbon: Key Considerations for Key Materials: To meet the 2030 Challenge, we need to not only achieve net zero operational carbon, but also radically reduce embodied carbon...There are many facets to the carbon profile of materials - the Carbon Smart Materials Palette website by Architecture 2030 is among the best resources for further research...[Here's my] basic primer on... material-by-material assessment, focusing on the biggest carbon considerations for each material.- Canadian Architect
The Museum of Modern Art Announces Major Gift from The Legacy Emilio Ambasz Foundation (LEAF) to Establish a Research Institute: Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment Will Be Dedicated to Understanding the Interaction between Architecture and Ecology: ...through a range of curatorial programs and research initiatives to foster dialogue, promote conversation, and facilitate research...highlighting the urgent need for an ecological recalibration.- Museum of Modern Art / MoMA (New York City)
Geospatial Technology: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Launches Center for Geospatial Solutions: ...to expand the use of advanced technology for land and water conservation...will give people and organizations the tools they need to manage land and water resources with precision...to confront pressing challenges such as climate change, loss of habitat, and water scarcity...will help practitioners...especially in the nonprofit sector...will prioritize access to technology for people and communities that have been historically marginalized, governments in the developing world, under-resourced nonprofit organizations, startups...- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Yesomi Umolu Takes Top Serpentine Galleries Post with Focus on Structural Change: ...director and curator of Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago...inaugural director of curatorial affairs and public practice...newly formed position...overseeing all curatorial, interpretation, and editorial operations at the [London] museum...will be tasked with fostering a more inclusive audience experience...native Londoner, was the artistic director of last year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial... -- Hans Ulrich Obrist- ARTnews
World Architecture Festival has launched new WAFVirtual, November 30 - December 4. Register for free. Join the worldwide architectural community for a week of live content, special prizes, talks, panel discussions and networking opportunities...Headline speakers will include Jeanne Gang, Ben van Berkel and Sir Peter Cook- World Architecture Festival (WAF)
Design Miami/ 2020 Explores the "Americas" With Over 100 Contemporary Objects: A diverse program of events and virtual talks, November 27 - December 6: theme, “America(s),” curated by...Aric Chen...will play host to 10 international design galleries and four groundbreaking Curio presentations...This year’s Design Commission winner is Chilean design collective, Great Things to People (gt2P), who will present their proposed installation called "Conscious Actions." The site-specific work consists of interactive, playground devices that will be installed throughout the neighborhood.- Hypebeast
The 80s Revisited: "Memphis: Plastic Field" will explore the subversive and irreverent spirit of the Memphis Group, bringing together over 150 of the design collective’s most significant objects whose bold and playful look pushed boundaries...Founded by...Ettore Sottsass...debuted its first collection at Milan’s Salone del Mobile in 1981...caused a sensation...Their furniture was colourful, kitsch and geometric, drawing on Pop Art, Bauhaus and Art Deco to create an entirely new aesthetic full of punch and vitality. MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, U.K., November 21 - April 24, 2021- MK Gallery (Milton Keynes, U.K.)
J. Michael Welton: The Louis I. Kahn Facsimile Project: A book of Kahn’s early drawings and words, out of print for almost 50 years, is about to be reprised. "The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn" was first published by Falcon Press in 1962...Steve Kroeter, editor-in-chief at Designers & Books, launches a Kickstarter campaign to fund [the] project, aimed at reprinting the 1973 MIT Press edition of the book...projects were not of [Kahn's] choosing, but by one of his students and early employees, Richard Saul Wurman...just turned 85, and is still highly active...was the creator of the first TED Conference...- Architects + Artisans
Cole Akers/The Glass House: Regarding Paul R. Williams: An Interview with Janna Ireland: For nearly five years, [she] has criss-crossed Southern California photographing [his] work of Paul Revere Williams...Her sensitive and elegant images of Williams’ work are collected in "Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer's View"...Q&A re: her book and the importance of Williams’ work.- National Trust for Historic Preservation/NTHP / African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
ANN feature: Gordon Huether: Amid Social & Economic Uncertainties, Major Public Art Welcomes & Elevates: Tripling value of 1% for Art: We are in difficult times, and cost concerns may affect plans for site-specific art. Yet, if there was ever a time that art mattered, when art could unite us in inspiration, nature, and beauty, this is that time.- ArchNewsNow.com
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