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Today’s News - Monday, February 24, 2014

•   Kamin spent some serious time exploring the urbanization of China, and his 3-part report is a must-read (seriously!): "this is not a simple, happy story of East meets West. China is a laboratory where architects, urban planners, government officials and developers are concocting the urban future - both for better and for worse." (registration required)

•   Hunter takes FT to task for a report that calls architects "cling-ons" surviving "only by the skin of our teeth. The profession needs to attract those with the best brains, not just the fattest wallets."

•   Some architects are "miffed" at a new website where potential clients offer what seem to be very low-price fees for design jobs: "They fear it straps architects to the Internet's slave-labor machine" (but it's "gaining traction with clients").

•   Saffron "laments" MoMA expansion plans: "New York is again suffering from a crisis of bigness. It needs to make room for the small"; DS+R was "suckered in by the institution's faulty logic."

•   Pedersen begs to differ with those who say Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial is dead: "I'd take flawed-but-ambitious Gehry over generic statues in the park or, even worse, the stale classicism being offered up by the likes of the NCAS."

•   Brookings' Katz and Wagner explain how city centers around the world are beating out the 'burbs by creating "innovation districts" to attract high-tech companies; even traditional science parks like North Carolina's Research Triangle "are scrambling to urbanize to keep pace with their workers' preference for walkable communities and their companies' desire to be near other firms."

•   Ransford cheers the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association's Getting to Groundbreaking initiative: "What's most encouraging is that it focuses on supply as the answer to the affordability challenge."

•   Wainwright cheers O'Donnell + Tuomey's LSE student center that is a "lesson in architectural origami - a fold-out marvel that ducks and dodges between its neighbors' rights to light."

•   Altabe is not so cheered by Mecanoo's Birmingham library that "brings fettuccine to mind. The mass of metalwork also conjures up trusses and scaffolding - it looks like it's still under construction."

•   Moore mulls the debate over the fate of "one of London's finest Victorian markets" as rivals "rubbish" each others' "rubbishings": "In a wise world a way might be found to have the best of both plans."

•   Also in the wrecking ball's crosshairs is BBC's 1960s HQ in Wales - a supermarket has the site in its sights, but others would like to see it repurposed as is being done with BBC's 1950s Television Centre in west London.

•   Architecture lovers have a new reason to visit Barcelona's "block of discord" as a "modernista gem" opens to the public.

•   Cheers for the four recipients of AIA's 2014 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement (full disclosure: we are proud to have made a small contribution to AIANY's Post-Sandy Initiative).

•   Quirk reports on Odile Decq launching a new kind of architecture school/institute in Lyon, France - Neuroscience and Social Action included (with a very long, convoluted name that starts with Confluence).

•   Two we couldn't resist: "how architecture helped rebuild Lego": the company "has come to accept that each new release will be greeted with some degree of snarkiness" + Jones cheers The Lego Movie's "architectural superhero" - perhaps now it "should create Renaissance building kits too."

•   Call for entries: UIA "Friendly Spaces Accessible to All" international award + 2014 Fritz Höger Award for Excellence in Brick Architecture (international).

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