Today’s News - Friday, March 15, 2013
• Florida explains that "ideas trump resources" when it comes to "enduring economic growth," with Calgary being a case in point in "how resource wealth can be used to build a robust knowledge economy."
• Blanchfield launches a series of case studies of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts: first up: Corona, Queens is "a powerful example of putting cultural vitality and institutional partnerships to work for the benefit of the community."
• Wainwright wagers that instead of the U.K.'s education secretary "waging war on architects," both sides might be better off taking a look at Niemeyer's 1980s education centers in Rio that "could show the way for embedding great design as standard. Properly developed, with the involvement of architects, might system building actually be a good thing?"
• It's only six years old - and a Stirling Prize-winner - but private homeowners have "have mounted an audacious bid to list the housing development to guard against 'damage' by social housing residents' modifications" (not-so-poor dears even have pix to prove it).
• Ulam reports on a new draft report that "suggests ways to protect against rising tides in New York City" ("retreat is not an option").
• Bosker takes us on a video tour of some "copycat architecture" China is using to "modernize, define and celebrate itself" (wedding cake props included).
• Pallister has an interesting Q&A with 41-year-old Fujimoto re: his 2013 Serpentine Pavilion, his practice, and more: "The playful aspect of my architecture is very important because that's how I think about life."
• Brownell, meanwhile, takes a look at how Fujimoto's "compelling" Serpentine Pavilion is only "the latest example of an aesthetic of dematerialization unique to Japanese design."
• Vanstiphout calls on the architectural profession "to understand its own unique power" and "realize that their only hope to survive...and to get something done, is to engage the will and the support of the people - and use it as a battering ram to break open the status quo."
• "Designs of the Year" curator Collard looks at some of the shortlisted buildings: despite a down economy, "this raft of innovative developments indicates that international creative and design communities remain as resilient and resourceful as ever."
• Weekend diversions:
• Kimmelman and de Monchaux are enthralled by Labrouste at MoMA: the "gorgeous" show casts the architect "as a radical reinventor of public spaces," and "also establishes a more intimate view."
• Betsky basks in a slew of "recent exhibitions on architectural drawing" that "give hope for the future of the profession - we seem to be undergoing a Renaissance of drawing," despite technology.
• An eyeful of the 20 semi-finalists in the Street Seats Design Challenge now on view in Boston.
• In "Raise the Roof" at the Science Museum of Virginia "you start to realize the complexity of simplicity."
• Heathcote and Moore find much to like about Rawsthorn's "Hello World: Where Design Meets Life" - though "I would have liked her to devote more time to design's emerging darker side"; and "it's a tad unfortunate that the 'other 90%' only get about 10% of the book."
• A great excerpt from Gallagher's "Revolution Detroit: Strategies for Urban Reinvention": "we need to evolve some new ways for our cities to govern themselves. They cannot be mere extensions of what we're doing already."
• Wainwright gives (mostly) thumbs-up to a new guidebook to Hong Kong's elevated walkways: "Although sometimes falling foul of the architect's tendency to fetishize the visual richness of exploded diagrams over the clarity of what they actually mean, it represents a valuable piece of work."
• Paletta parses Reeser Lawrence's "James Stirling: Revisionary Modernist" that "rigorously re-examines" the architect's own thinking: "Read and re-vision."
• Q&A with Rawlins re: Horace Gifford and the "Architecture of Seduction," which "details the forgotten history of an openly gay architect who only now is being recognized."
• Hail the Ides of March (it's Friday!).
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Ideas Trump Resources When it Comes to City Growth: Natural resources can help, but enduring economic growth is powered by talent and ideas: Calgary, the center of one of the most naturally endowed regions on the planet...is a case study in how resource wealth can be used to build a robust knowledge economy... By Richard Florida- The Atlantic Cities
Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts: Corona, Queens: In the first of a series, Caitlin Blanchfield reveals the story of reclaiming Corona Plaza for public use, a powerful example of putting cultural vitality and institutional partnerships to work for the benefit of the community. -- DSGN AGNC [images]- Urban Omnibus
Flatpack or flexible? Oscar Niemeyer's schools could have lessons for the UK: Rio de Janeiro's programme in the 80s to build more than 500 integrated education centres from a standardised system could show the way for embedding great design as standard...Properly developed, with the involvement of architects, might system building actually be a good thing? By Oliver Wainwright -- Aberrant [images]- Guardian (UK)
Class war breaks out in Accordia as wealthy seek ban on alterations: Estate’s private homeowners campaign to list six-year-old Stirling Prize-winning scheme to guard against ‘damage’ by social housing residents’ modifications + Discordant murmurs trouble Accordia’s idyll -- Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Alison Brooks Architects; Maccreanor Lavington [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Going Dutch: New draft report suggests ways to protect against rising tides in New York City: “Cost Estimates for Storm Surge Barriers and Flood Protection in New York City”...explores many different protection strategies, one that is not addressed is the “retreat” option, whereby communities would be resettled from flood-prone areas. “Retreat is not an option..." By Alex Ulam- The Architect's Newspaper
China Uses Copycat Architecture to Modernize, Define and Celebrate Itself: While copying architectural styles is as old as architecture itself, China has done it on an unprecedented scale and speed...Bianca Bosker, author of "Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China," discusses how the Chinese are copying the most iconic cities and towns of the West. [video]- PBS Newshour
Sou Fujimoto's 2013 Serpentine Pavilion: James Pallister talks to emerging Japanese star...Did the commission intimidate you? "Yes, but at the same time it’s exciting...The playful aspect of my architecture is very important because that’s how I think about life."- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Stick-Built: In recent projects by Japanese designers, it seems that bracketing, a kind of stepped, load-bearing technight, is becoming more popular: Sou Fujimoto's compelling proposal for the 2013 Serpentine Pavilion...is the latest example of an aesthetic of dematerialization unique to Japanese design. By Blaine Brownell -- Kengo Kuma; Ryuji Nakamura [images]- Architect Magazine
The art of making anything possible: The architectural profession needs to understand its own unique power...like politicians, they should realise that their only hope to survive within this jungle of technocracy and special interests, and to get something done, is to engage the will and the support of the people — and use it as a battering ram to break open the status quo. By Wouter Vanstiphout- BD/Building Design (UK)
Designs of the Year: London's Design Museum celebrates the year's most innovative and exciting creations. Curator Pete Collard looks at the exceptional buildings shortlisted...Economic considerations may have stymied construction projects...but this raft of innovative developments indicates that international creative and design communities remain as resilient and resourceful as ever. -- SO - IL; Farshid Moussavi; Louis Kahn; Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos; Barbas Lopes Arquitectos; Witherford Watson Mann; Renzo Piano; David Kohn Architects/Fiona Banner- Telegraph (UK)
A Poetry Grounded in Gravity and Air: The “Henri Labrouste” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art casts this 19th-century French architect as a radical reinventor of public spaces...The name may not ring a bell, but don’t let that stop you from seeing the show. It is gorgeous. By Michael Kimmelman [slide show]- New York Times
Beginning to See the Light: Decades after modernists and postmodernists started arguing over his legacy, Henri Labrouste finally gets a fair hearing in "Structure Brought to Light" at the Museum of Modern Art...if this elegant, erudite show situates [him] into a great sweep of architectural history...it also establishes a more intimate view. By Thomas de Monchaux [slide shows]- Architect Magazine
Drawing Lives: Recent exhibitions on architectural drawing give hope for the future of the profession: ...we seem to be undergoing a Renaissance of drawing, despite—or perhaps, perversely, because of the prevalence of computer and communication technologies. By Aaron Betsky -- Lebbeus Woods; Sebastian Heinemeyer; Dietmar Franz; Franz Riedl; Lukas Goebl; Constantin Luser; Florian Unterberger; Henry Stephens [slide show]- Architect Magazine
Outdoor Furniture for Boston’s Fort Point Channel: All Street Seats Design Challenge entries on view, including 20 semi-finalists that best met the design criteria... [images]- Design Museum Boston
Science Museum of Virginia Raises Roof: There are concepts that architects and engineers have studied and worked with for so many years that they seem intuitive. But try to explain...and most structure-savvy professionals would be stymied...Appreciate how the museum is able to do that [in "Raise the Roof"]...and you start to realize the complexity of simplicity.- Inform Architecture + Design (Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects)
Book excerpt: "Revolution Detroit: Strategies for Urban Reinvention" by John Gallagher: "...we need to evolve some new ways for our cities to govern themselves, and these new ways must be truly creative. They cannot be mere extensions of what we're doing already..."- Detroit Free Press
The invisible influence: Alice Rawsthorn argues there is more to the subject than fashion and fonts: "Hello World: Where Design Meets Life"...drawn towards...design thinking, social design and critical design...not a plea for the recognition of design as a universal solution...outlines some of the outright failures...an extremely readable tour of the subject but I would have liked her to devote more time to design’s emerging darker side... By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
"Hello World: Where Design Meets Life": Alice Rawsthorn's exploration of how design affects our lives is most interesting when it leaves the beaten track...good design is...about using ingenuity and technique to make people's lives better...it's a tad unfortunate that the "other 90%" only get about 10% of the book. You feel that there is the beginning of something interesting here, a polemic that might have powered the rest. But it only begins at the end. By Rowan Moore- Observer (UK)
"Cities Without Ground": a guidebook to Hong Kong's elevated walkways: ...for the first time, a book can help you navigate the high-rise web of bridges, tunnels and lobbies that make up the city's fabric. ..Although sometimes falling foul of the architect's tendency to fetishise the visual richness of exploded diagrams over the clarity of what they actually mean, it represents a valuable piece of work. By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
A revisionary modernist architect is rigorously re-examined: Amanda Reeser Lawrence’s "James Stirling: Revisionary Modernist"...concerned with a close analysis of his own thinking about his projects and idiosyncratic conception of modernism...Read and re-vision. By Anthony Paletta [images]- Metropolis Magazine
The Architecture of Seduction: "Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction" details the forgotten history of an openly gay architect who only now is being recognized...tells the largely untold story of a New York Modernist mecca and its leading practitioner...richly illustrated work combines architectural and social history...Q&A with author Christopher Rawlins [images]- AIArchitect
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