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Today’s News - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Friday, March 6.

•   Kimmelman hopes legislators do the right thing tomorrow, and rescue Rudolph's Orange County Government Center from demolition.

•   A parsing of UC Berkeley's "aesthetically displeasing" Brutalist buildings, "the product of a handful of frustrated mid-20th century architects. Perhaps we ought to recognize the hidden beauty in our ugliest buildings - despite their subjective designation as eyesores, they are lenses into the past."

•   Sturgis delves deep into "why Africa's booming cities need more autonomy in urban planning," and "are right to want a seat at the table - educated, tech-savvy middle classes are unlikely to sit by and watch their cities develop without a local voice" (a fascinating read).

•   Hawthorne hails (for the most part) the Heatherwick/BIG design for Google's "both monumental and neighborly" new HQ, "meant, above all, to send a restorative message - a curious, charismatic sort of Arcadian retro-futurism."

•   Olcayto parses Silicon Valley starchitects designing for Google, Apple and Facebook: it's "exciting, yes, but also - for those of us interested in starchitects, PR and the insufferably smart world of tech - more than a few things to mull over."

•   How could we resist John Oliver's take on America's infrastructure: while "many find the whole topic 'a bit boring,' his funny explainer will win over a few more of the currently disinterested" (references to Porta-Potties and the yellow brick road included).

•   Prix on the "robot revolution" and the future of construction: "The next revolution in architecture will come, and that will destroy all the 5000 years of thinking in bricks. Whether we want it or not."

•   Vienna's HoHo tower will be the "world's tallest wooden skyscraper," but the "plans didn't go down so well with the Viennese fire department."

•   Eyefuls of architecture "inspired by, and responsive to, the realities of an increasingly volatile natural environment."

•   The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts in St. Louis picks an impressive shortlist of three for its new building.

•   Q&A with Betsky re: his new gig as dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, "the school's path to autonomy, its fundraising efforts, and the goal of expansion."

•   He pens a poetic ode to why he's moving to Taliesin to become dean: "Being at Taliesin rekindles my love of the basic building blocks of architecture."

•   Q&A with Szanto re: the Davidoff Art Initiative, "the program's aims, the Caribbean context, and why not all corporate-sponsored art is created equal."

•   Nouvel goes to court, demanding "not to be associated with Philharmonie de Paris," and has "applied for a court order to ensure amendments are carried out at 26 locations that do not comply with his original design."

•   Contract magazine's parent company buys "leading brands in the healthcare and senior living design market."

•   Eyefuls of the 2014 BSA Design Award winners.

•   One we couldn't resist: Researchers at Cornell University create a model of "what would actually happen if zombies attacked. Spoiler: The news is not good for city-dwellers" (you can play the simulation, too!).

•   Call for entries deadline reminder: 1st Annual Dencity Competition for new ideas to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities.


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