Today’s News - Thursday, January 14, 2021

Editor's note: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, January 19. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe (and wear a mask!).

●  ANN feature: Dave Hora: Nature of Order #3: Nos. 9-15 of Christopher Alexander's 15 Fundamental Properties of Wholeness: In contrast with the first eight, something feels more primal and elemental in these properties.

●  John King re: the ransacking of the U.S. Capitol: "The violence inflicted on America underscored Trump's contempt for a diverse modern culture - his cynical embrace of the idea that some brands of architecture are morally superior to others" (i.e. his "idiotic" executive order).

●  Carolina A. Miranda re: the insurgency at the Capitol. "And we thought 2020 was nuts. Welcome to Coup Week, 2021 - government assessment teams worked through the night to catalog the destruction. 'Wednesday was a difficult day for our campus,' Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton said" + link to her thoughtful take on what the Capitol symbolizes.

●  Hilburg reports on the "calls for the Architect of the Capitol's removal - Blanton's Office of Security Program is responsible for securing and hardening the Capitol campus."

●  From across the Big Pond: The U.K.'s former construction minister - now business secretary - "tells architects they are making 'major contribution' to recovery" while "a debate is raging among architects and those in the wider industry about safety, critical worker status and the challenge of working while homeschooling children."

●  Cajsa Carlson reports on Saudi Arabia's plans for The Line, a zero-energy, 100-mile-long, car-free linear city for a million people - "with all residents living within a five-minute walk of essential facilities" (no firm designing the master plan is named - skepticism abounds).

●  Blair Kamin "reflects on 28 years of reviewing Chicago's wonders and blunders" (in more than 2,500 columns!): "Whether or not you agreed was never the point - my role was to serve as a watchdog, unafraid to bark - and, if necessary, bite - when developers and architects schemed to wreak havoc on the cityscape."


●  Call for entries: International Junior Wonders Drawing Competition: BD's drawing competition for home-schooled kids aged 5-11. "Each week we will choose a building type" (and cash prize for art supplies); deadline: every Friday (we can't wait to see the results!).

●  Call for entries: Design Educates Awards 2021: best ideas and implementations of architectural, product, universal, and responsive design that can educate.

●  Call for entries Submissions for Sophia Journal, 6th edition: "Visual Spaces of Change: photographic documentation of environmental transformations."

Weekend diversions + Page-turners:

●  "Famed Toronto flâneur" (and urbanism authority, author, journalist) Shawn Micallef maps a leisurely stroll through the Mount Dennis neighborhood, "far from the city's core with dramatic topography and many delightful secrets to discover."

●  The Metropolitan Museum of Art launches "The Met Unframed" - an "immersive AR experience that invites museum-goers to remotely explore digitally-rendered galleries."

●  Kate Wagner cheers Peggy Deamer's "Architecture and Labor," which "recognizes architecture is not the creative calling one was promised as a 19-year-old. This is work, plain and simple. The prospect of unionization haunts the pages - and though it may seem like an all-too-simple solution to our current maladies, it isn't."

●  Michael J. Crosbie cheers Mark Alan Hewitt's "Draw in Order to See" that "reaffirms the essential role of drawing in design - this broad, well-researched, and absorbing cognitive history of architectural design" also "addresses education as well as practice - an excellent road map of how we might get back to an architecture with a human face."


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