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Thursday, June 4, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, June 9. 'Til then: Stay well. Stay safe. Stay in! In the meantime, it's an odd sort of news day - with both inspiring and depressing news - followed by a Weekend diversion & Page-turners.

Click here to see Today's News. Feature stories below the news note.

COVID-19 news continues:
-- Moloney reports on Medellin, Colombia, pushing "'eco-city' aims using the coronavirus recovery to reach climate goals - one of dozens of cities around the world aiming to use a post-lockdown economic restart to simultaneously bootstrap environmental measures." -- Moser, Malzieu & Petkova of Foster + Partners' Urban Design team have spent the last few weeks "exploring how recent and fast moving developments in urban planning will affect and shape the future of cities worldwide." -- ThinkLab's Amanda Schneider takes a look at the first results of its Industry Impact Survey "measuring the fallout of COVID-19 for the design industry to help designers and design manufacturers move forward during these challenging times" - and invites you to participate.

Of protests, racism, and urban unrest - the industry responds:
-- Michael Ford will launch the Hip Hop Architecture as Design Justice Competition with a webinar on Saturday - the challenge: "use hip hop lyrics as prompts to imagine spaces, places, and products for a Just City!" -- Gamolina dedicates Madame Architect's June Q&As honoring "the intersection of both the black and the LGBTQ+ communities" + The archive of interviews with an amazing line-up + "A Day With" series (all impressive Black women - all great reads!). -- Black Brazilian feminist Stephanie Ribeiro, whose "decision to study architecture was a naive one" in her "search for women and men like me: black architects and urban planners - race and gender can no longer be neglected in course curriculums" (the industry in general "needs more emphasis on women"). -- Beamon: "Dear White Architects, Be B.R.A.V.E, Not Sad. Love, NOMA": "If firms have seemed blind to violence against black citizens, they have also largely ignored the dismally small percentage of black architects" - join #DesignAsProtest in a Day of Action this Friday "to correct the design of spaces that dehumanize black people." -- Saffron ponders the destruction of buildings in Philly and elsewhere: "You can be appalled and heartbroken by our country's deadly racism, and yet still quake at what the damage to downtown portends - the destruction is devastating for the future of cities" -- Architect and educator Sekou Cooke reflects "on this current moment and what it says about Blackness and architecture in America - they are inextricably linked. Maybe there is a parallel to be drawn between the lack of Black perspectives within the architectural 'we' and the inability of the profession to find a suitable response to the current state of social justice." -- Architect and design justice advocate Bryan Lee, Jr. explains how "America's cities were designed to oppress. Architects and planners have an obligation to protect health, safety and - we've failed. Here is the start to a path forward - as much a call to action as it is an act of healing" (some comments are excruciating).

A weekend diversion & Page-turners:
-- Hickman offers a sampling of "outdoor art spaces that are now open across the country for socially-distanced summer enjoyment." -- Wainwright x 2: He recalls his own grand adventure as he cheers Phnom Penh's "glorious architecture lovingly captured in a thrilling new book" that documents "more than 140 buildings - often for the first time. But can it survive a tidal wave of foreign investment"? -- He cheers Jethro Marshall's "Halls & Oats" that documents the "bleak, bulky yet strangely beautiful, village halls" that "are the beating heart of rural Britain - sheds full of civic ambition". (with intro by Sam Jacob). -- Moore mulls Maclean's "Circles and Squares: The Lives and Art of the Hampstead Modernists": "This was an exceptional bunch of people who deserve a more illuminating treatment than they get here." -- William O. Gardner: an excerpt from his "The Metabolist Imagination: Visions of the City in Postwar Japanese Architecture and Science Fiction" (very long, but worth the time). -- ICYMI x 2: ANN feature: Kristen Richards: Wild about Saffron: Revisiting Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates": New York City: a February Tuesday in Central Park. 55 degrees and sunny (originally posted February 21, 2005). -- ANN feature: FXCollaborative's Dan Kaplan offers a most eloquent "quarantine-induced assessment of downtown Manhattan - lingering on the rich detail, walking down streets that we neglected in busier times. Hopefully we'll emerge from our collective timeout recommitted to creating a more equitable and resilient city."


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