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Thursday, August 15, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, August 20.

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Agbo uses his own project transforming a gargantuan Postmodern-Constructivist villa into a co-creation space as the starting point to a most thoughtful reflection on how architects can help restore Nigeria's culture after years of conflict and violence - it requires "investing in the potential of what is already there, not creating flashy one-offs." -- Kim offers a "field guide to the 'weapons' of hostile architecture In NYC": "Hostile design is an age-old concept - some of the most reoccurring expressions of hostile design can be found in public seating. The issue also strikes at the notion of equity" (miles of not-nice comments ensue). -- Syracuse, NY, hopes to "right a decades-old wrong" by replacing a viaduct that cuts through a historically African American neighborhood, "turning what is now mostly parking lots into a walkable urban space," but "community organizations and residents are critical of the plan." -- Su's Q&A with Anne-Marie Lubenau, director of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, re: "the power of design to transform communities, the big takeaways from this year's awards, trends in urbanism, and more." -- Zeiger "looks back at the history of feminism and architecture, finding areas where there has been progress - and where advocates have lost ground" (beware the "Zaha trap, the Jeanne trap, the Liz Diller trap" - a great read!). -- Henning Larsen Architects wins the European Prize for Architecture 2019, "selected in recognition of its commitment to sustainability and community-focused design" (and just in time for the studio's 60th anniversary). -- Iranian architect Forouzanfar creates "photomontages that combine archaeological sites in Iran with contemporary buildings - to examine the tension between visions of the past and the future. Linking architecture from the Western canon to pre-Islamic architecture was a deliberately thought-provoking choice."

Weekend diversions:
-- A "fascinating video" produced by RSH+P has Rogers talking about the watch he's worn for 44 years (a gift from his mother) - it "strikes a wonderfully contemplative note - one of the most thoughtful takes on watch design and its connection to larger social and human considerations that we've seen." -- Lange parses what "Where'd You Go, Bernadette," a "fractured fairytale" about a female architect (and MacArthur "genius" awardee) who no longer practices, means to her "as a woman in architecture. I want this to be me and my friends." -- Olsen focuses on how "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" uses "oddball architecture to reflect its heroine" - production designer Bruce Curtis looked to Hadid, Scott Brown, and Gray for inspiration: "You wait for projects like this where you can create an entire world and that was a true thrill." -- Whittaker sees the "idling ex-architect" in "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" as "the opposite of Frank Lloyd Wright, but no less complicated - contending with a feeling that she let her creative spark burn out." -- Budds cheers "Big Ideas for Small Lots" at AIANY's Center for Architecture, which showcases entries in the competition to design a multi-family project on a vacant lot in Harlem: "The next challenge - and it's a big one - is moving these ideas from paper into the real world. Let's hope the city's will to build is as strong as the ideas presented." -- "Ending Cycles of Displacement" is an art series in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo that "focuses on creative place-keeping and addressing the most recent cycle of displacement affecting" the neighborhood. -- Medina cheers "Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform" at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston that "explores the intersection of landscape architecture and social reform at the turn of the 20th century - the so-called Progressive Era." -- Welton says "don't miss" a Deep Time exhibit at the Smithsonian, designed by Reich&Petch. -- Two to catch at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin: "Human Nature: Dorte Mandrup, Copenhagen" is the "first comprehensive exhibition about her outstanding work" that "represents a humanistic approach to architecture insisting on creating buildings that speak to and with their surroundings." -- In "100 Experiments: Inspiration in design processes," Latvian designer Anna Butele, of studio Annvil, "explores the notion of inspiration" through work by architects from 28 countries - "each contribution is a reaction inspired by the previous work."

-- Betsky peruses "with great pleasure" Nalina Moses' "Single-Handedly: Contemporary Architects Draw by Hand": "I remain astonished that the debate about 'hand drawing' versus 'computer drawings' rages on. Who cares? We should preserve the art of drawing by hand, but not fetishize it." -- Rios revels in Broom's "The Yellow House" and Moraga's "Native Country of the Heart" that "reveal the oft-overlooked daily life that fuels two storied cities" - New Orleans and Los Angeles. "These are not the places where tourists revel and guidebooks dwell."


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