Today’s News - Thursday, October 6, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, October 11.
• ANN feature: Donna Maltzan parses 10 predominant communications failures in A/E/C firms, and suggestions to overcome them.
• McGuigan eloquently ponders architecture and how "the story of the African American experience can be powerfully reflected in the built environment."
• Wainwright cheers Levete's new Lisbon museum and its "sinuous swoosh" that "finally reunites city and river," but inside, "you feel like you're on the way to the main event that never arrives."
• Jencks takes a deep - and fascinating - dive into the evolution of museum architecture since the Bilbao Effect: the "cynical reason" why "nature and the universe are never far away" in these "secular cathedrals" is that they "must look like something more than a dumb box, so, the default mode must be nature, sustainability - the most unimpeachable of faiths."
• Chen, meanwhile, dodges drones and hoverboards and throws "museological obsessions like provenance to the wind" as he scours a Shenzhen area hunting for "unidentified acts of design" for Hong Kong's M+ museum.
• Bliss is blissful about several signs that Las Vegas "is finally getting behind the idea of an urban renaissance" and the "proper infrastructure a connected city needs."
• Freeman fulminates about why Trump's history as a developer shouldn't leave us "surprised by his eccentric and disturbing behavior as a presidential candidate - mediocre design is the least of it" when one considers the "unhealthy residue" he's left across the industry.
• Walker, on a lighter note, walks us through some of Trump's 3:00am "hate-tweets" about Goldberger and Kamin: "there may not be a higher compliment in this line of work. So architecture writers - keep digging."
• The NTHP's 2016 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places puts the spotlight on urban areas (great presentation).
• Rodger finds much to like at this year's Venice Biennale: "This is no starchitect's biennale" - it is "huge, multi-layered and pretty much impossible to sum up," and some of it "will upset the status quo."
• Budds practically bubbles over the news that Manaugh's "A Burglar's Guide to the City" is being developed into a TV pilot "about a badass architect: It's Robin Hood meets Howard Roark."
• Weekend diversions:
• On a more serious note, Budds ponders MoMA's "Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter": "there's no one-size-fits-all architectural solution - but there's a handful of traits that are common to a successful relief shelter. Here are three of them."
• Frankfurt hosts the Flanders Architecture Institute's "MAATWERK MASSWERK: Custom Made Architecture from Flanders and the Netherlands."
• Storring and Zipp explain how both the left and the right often get Jane Jacobs wrong - and what we need to do to keep her vision alive.
• Green gives Storring and Zipp's "Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs" two thumbs-up for bringing together "this autodidact's compelling arguments for why planners and designers must never forget the importance of small-scale diversity."
• Schwab cheers "World of Malls: Architecture of Consumption" that "traces the history of malls through the architects who build them."
• Nobel finds Settis's "If Venice Dies" a "bracing and beautifully written little book" that "gives special attention to the complicity of architects" in the city's slow demise.
• Newhouse says Curran's "The Invention of the American Art Museum" offers "behind-the-scenes accounts" that are "deeply engaging" and revelatory.
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ANN feature: INSIGHT: Communication Issues in A/E/C Firms: 10 predominant communications failures that hinder both individual career growth and business success. By Donna L. Maltzan- ArchNewsNow.com
Architecture and the History of Race: The story of the African American experience can be powerfully reflected in the built environment: ...like many others of my generation, I like to think I am well-informed about the history of race in the U.S. But, actually, no...The effort to introduce specifics - names, places, and objects - into the sweep of historical events is a powerful tool for teaching. By Cathleen McGuigan -- MASS Design Group; David Adjaye; Phil Freelon; Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroupJJR- Architectural Record
'The hotspot of hotspots': Amanda Levete's €20m Lisbon museum opens with a sinuous swoosh: ...has created an exotically tiled Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) that finally reunites city and river: ...[her] scaly creature looks like something that might have slithered up from the depths of the river...[inside] You feel like you’re on the way to the main event that never arrives. By Oliver Wainwright -- AL_A; Pedro Gadanho [images]- Guardian (UK)
New museums: the rise of cryptic cathedrals of the cosmos: ...how museum architecture has evolved since the millennium...the diversity of secular cathedrals, or “enigmatic signifiers”: Nature and the universe are never far away from the architect’s mind when designing the most visible or expensive buildings today. The cynical reason is that megabuildings cannot hide and must look like something more than a dumb box, so, in a fiercely secular age, the default mode must be nature, sustainability - the most unimpeachable of faiths. By Charles Jencks -- Frank Gehry; Renzo Piano; David Chipperfield; Herzog & de Meuron; Álvaro Siza; Peter Zumthor; SANAA/IMREY CULBERT; Wang Shu/Amateur Architecture Studio; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; I.M. Pei; Jean Nouvel; Norman Foster; Daniel Libeskind; Peter Cook/Colin Fournier; Coop Himmelb(l)au; Moshe Safdie; Snøhetta [images]- The Art Newspaper (UK)
On the button: hunting for unidentified acts of design in Huaqiangbei [Shenzhen] once known as the counterfeit capital of the world...As curator for M+ museum...I was looking for...the often unsung outputs of processes that lie outside the design mainstream...I threw museological obsessions like provenance to the wind, and instead sought out phenomena. By Aric Chen- Wallpaper*
Las Vegas Doubles Down on the Bicycle: A new bike-share program is one of several signs that the city is finally getting behind the idea of an urban renaissance: For visitors, the signature feature...is the Strip: an unwalkable, unshaded, traffic-jammed boulevard...the story of downtown Las Vegas is quite different...[it] is getting some of the other proper infrastructure a connected city needs. By Laura Bliss- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Post Trump: Those who knew Donald Trump as a property developer in New York cannot be surprised by his eccentric and disturbing behavior as a presidential candidate: ...mediocre design is the least of it...[his] failings have less to do with aesthetics than with irresponsible civics...his superficial and egotistical enterprise of branding projects has left an unhealthy residue across the industry. By Belmont Freeman- Places Journal
Why is Donald Trump so afraid of architecture critics? Maybe because they speak the truth: ...he’s lobbed his fair share of 3 a.m. hate-tweets at architecture writers...there may not be a higher compliment in this line of work...So architecture writers - keep digging. Follow the gold mirror glass. By Alissa Walker -- Paul Goldberger; Blair Kamin- Curbed
2016 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places Spotlights Challenges Facing America’s Cities: 29th annual list includes historic places in America’s urban areas at a time when cities across the nation are experiencing a resurgence...Through its ReUrbanism work, the Trust is highlighting the importance of adaptability and preservation... [images]- National Trust for Historic Preservation/NTHP
The Venice Biennale and the Battle for Quality of Life: What emerges...is a convincingly hopeful picture of architecture with a more relevant scope...This is no starchitect’s biennale, nor is it an earnest emerging world biennale...it is rewarding to see expressive modern forms created with extremely limited means...Reporting from the Front is huge, multi-layered and pretty much impossible to sum up...Some reports will upset the status quo... By Nelda Rodger -- Alejandro Aravena [images]- Azure magazine (Canada)
CBS Is Developing A Show About A Badass Architect: It's Robin Hood meets Howard Roark: ...new drama loosely based on the non-fiction architecture and urban design book "A Burglar's Guide to the City"...[author] Geoff Manaugh...will serve as a consulting producer... By Diana Budds- Fast Company / Co.Design
Refugee Architecture Gets Its First Major Museum Show: MoMA devotes a new exhibition to shelter in crisis zones: ...how best to house tens of millions of people remains a question with an elusive answer..."Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter"...[sheds] some light on the issue...there's no one-size-fits-all architectural solution to the refugee crisis, but there's a handful of traits that are common to a successful relief shelter. Here are three of them. By Diana Budds [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
"MAATWERK MASSWERK: Custom Made Architecture from Flanders and the Netherlands": ...places the emphasis on tailored work, precision and craftsmanship as undercurrents in Flemish and Dutch architecture of the past 30 years; in Frankfurt- Flanders Architecture Institute / Deutsches Architekturmuseum/DAM
Remembering and understanding Jane Jacobs, beyond left and right: To keep Jacobs’s vision alive, we need guardians with the courage to stoke the market where it is weakest and rein it in where it is strongest, to make it work for ordinary people with little capital and power...we need responsive guardians that make room for citizen action and propel everyday innovation. By Nathan Storring and Samuel Zipp ("Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs")- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Jane Jacobs: The Case for Diversity: In "Vital Little Plans," a new collection of [her] short writings and speeches...editors Samuel Zipp and Nathan Storring have done readers a great service. They’ve brought together the best of this autodidact’s compelling arguments for why planners and designers must never forget the importance of small-scale diversity... By Jared Green- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Architects' Long, Love/Hate Relationship With The Mall: "World of Malls: Architecture of Consumption" traces the history of malls through the architects who build them: Are they a new kind of public space? Or do these structures limit designers' creativity, and harm communities, for the sake of profit? ...more and more celebrity architects have also taken on mall projects...turning them into a kind of civic landmark. By Katharine Schwab -- Victor Gruen; Frank Gehry; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; Jon Jerde; David Chipperfield; Norman Forster; Zaha Hadid; Daniel Libeskind; Jean Nouvel- Fast Company / Co.Design
"If Venice Dies": Isn't the inevitable sinking of the city the most likely cause of its long-discussed demise? Actually not, as Salvatore Settis makes all too clear in this bracing and beautifully written little book...Venice really is dying, and fast...[He] gives special attention to the complicity of architects...His suggestion...is to develop...an equivalent to the Hippocratic oath derived from...Vitruvius... By Philip Nobel- Architectural Record
Winging It: "The Invention of the American Art Museum From Craft to Kulturgeschichte, 1870–1930" by Kathleen Curran explores the formative ideas that shaped major American art museums...For all those interested in museums and their origins, these behind-the-scenes accounts are deeply engaging, not least in their revelation of how what goes around, eventually comes around. By Victoria Newhouse [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
ANN feature: Call for Entries: Green Skyline - Country Garden - Forest City Landmark Architecture International Design Competition: Seeking a green skyline for a new and sustainable smart city in Malaysia. Registration deadline: October 15- ArchNewsNow.com
BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group: Urban Rigger, Copenhagen, Denmark: ...a low-cost, modular housing system that can be altered, replicated and floated. If BIG have their way, Copenhagen's harbor will soon be dense with floating shipping containers hosting young academics...an original, joyful, and genuinely functional project. By Benjamin Wells [images]
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