Today’s News - Tuesday, October 3, 2017
● We lose Vann Molyvann, the "architect who shaped Cambodia's capital": "he watched as his carefully planned city was largely dismantled by unbridled capitalism, corruption and urban sprawl. 'It is difficult to sit and watch the destruction of my children.'"
● On a brighter note, a great Q&A with social-housing pioneer Neave Brown, the newly-minted 2018 RIBA Royal Gold Medalist: "What do you think of the general state of the profession at the moment? 'Confusion'" (+ links to additional articles).
● Grimm is more than just grim about Florida state lawmakers, the "sneaks" who "blithely sabotaged the state building code" with a "sop to the building industry known as the 'Irma Who' bill. We should have howled in protest."
● Sheridan parses "how design firms can build a resilient future: The first step is internal education. We need to be climate literate," so "we can advise our clients to make the best decisions."
● Loth makes the case for not giving up on building with wood, despite "calls for more regulation or even restrictions on wood-frame construction - wood deserves its place in the contractor's toolbox. Like any tool, it needs to be handled with care."
● Buday ponders Behavior-Aided Design: after CAD and HAD, BAD is the third episode in a trilogy about "architecture's shift from digits (fingers and hands) to digital (bits and bytes). I think I know how the series ends."
● Arup and Schwendinger's research project Smart Everyday Nighttime Design "aims to use light as a means to build better communities" (there's a documentary about the project's findings).
● Myers considers "what is a shadow worth?" when it comes to urban planning and new housing in Toronto (and anywhere else, for that matter): "Planners understand the need for intensification, infill projects, and taller towers, but current zoning makes shadows, privacy, and neighborhood character worth thousands of units."
● Hume has high hopes for Mirvish + Gehry Toronto's second act with a new developer: "the project will go ahead as designed," though "many issues remain unresolved."
● King is concerned about towering plans for Oakland that "put old treasures at risk": though one plan offers "long-needed salvation" for a 1911 gem, "the old is belittled by the new - developers need to treat the downtown landscape with more respect."
● Gopnik can barely contain his delight in BKSK Architects' 529 Broadway in NYC that revives the "joy of decoration": its "exuberant detailing" makes it "one of the most exciting and intelligent structures to be built for decades, anywhere" (no "bauble building" here!).
● Litt considers a new study that shows Cleveland's housing strategy should "'focus on the hardest hit areas that are adjacent to the urban core' - but how much new housing could or should be built?"
● It's a women-in-architecture kind of day: Lau offers lessons gleaned from the recent AIA Women's Leadership Summit: instead of talk about discrimination or sexism, "it focused on how obstacles can become opportunities to grow, to right a wrong, and to 'create tailwinds.'"
● Philips looks at "gender diversity in Canada's architecture profession": "The strong number of women training to become architects is promising," but "why is Quebec significantly ahead?"
● FlowingData's Yau offers "a set of visualizations that demonstrate how the diversity of the workforce has evolved. It's not entirely surprising that architects fall towards the male spectrum."
● Craven x 2: she rounds up organizations and resources that "are working to improve the status of women in the field of architecture and other male-dominated careers."
● She offers a round-up "20 women architects to know - trailblazers from the past and present day" (some new to us!).
● Working Mother magazine's 2017 list of 100 Best Companies shows the "being a top employer for women doesn't end with paid maternity leave."
● A good reason to head to Minneapolis on Friday: "Complexity: Dutch & American Housing" Symposium at the University of Minnesota "will explore the similarities and differences between the way housing is designed, developed, and constructed in the Netherlands and the U.S."
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Obituary: Vann Molyvann, Architect Who Shaped Cambodia’s Capital, 90: ...best known for combining modernist principles with ancient motifs, a style that came to be called New Khmer Architecture...lived in exile during the bloodiest decades of modern Cambodian history, and after he returned to his homeland in 1991, he watched as his carefully planned city [Phnom Penh] was largely dismantled by unbridled capitalism, corruption and urban sprawl...“It is difficult to sit and watch the destruction of my children"...- New York Times
Neave Brown: ‘We must never, never, never again do buildings like Grenfell’: The celebrated 88-year-old architect behind three trailblazing social housing schemes received the 2018 RIBA Royal Gold Medal: What do you think of the general state of the profession at the moment? "Confusion." + Social-housing pioneer Neave Brown - the only architect to have all his UK work listed - has won the 2018 RIBA Royal Gold Medal in recognition of his lifetime’s work [Q&A] + Tributes to Neave Brown: "An architect who designed the setting for social life and relationships." [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Fred Grimm: Just weeks before Irma struck, state lawmakers blithely sabotaged state building code: The sneaks. We should have howled in protest...known as the “Irma Who” bill...Yeah. I know. Folks like me should have been raising hell long before [governor] signed this atrocity into law...Should have...warned Floridians that the legislature’s sop to the building industry will cost us millions in higher insurance rates and lost federal disaster aid discounts. But that was back before Harvey and Maria and Jose...was ushering in a hellish new epoch. Back when the looming threat was still: “Irma who?”- Sun Sentinel (Florida)
Jessica Sheridan: How Design Firms Can Build a Resilient Future: If nothing else, this last month has proven that climate change is an inevitability that we as designers and builders need to consider as part of our everyday practice...it is our duty to arm ourselves and our clients with the knowledge required to address issues related to resiliency. The first step is internal education. We need to be climate literate...By fully understanding a project holistically...we can advise our clients to make the best decisions.- PRISM
Renée Loth: Don’t give up on building with wood: Devastating fires...have prompted calls for more regulation or even restrictions on wood-frame construction...But the trouble is more with construction methods than with the material...But rolling back the building code to restrict wood-frame buildings to three stories would render the state’s housing production goals unachievable. And the urgency is real...wood deserves its place in the contractor’s toolbox. Like any tool, it needs to be handled with care.- Boston Globe
Richard Buday: How Behavior-Aided Design Will Transform Architecture: Or how buildings go BAD.
The tale of architecture’s shift from digits (fingers and hands) to digital (bits and bytes) can be told as a trilogy. The first episode...a space odyssey entitled CAD, for Computer-Aided Drafting. The sequel now playing is HAD, or Human-Aided Design, in which the antagonist flexes its muscles...the last episode will be BAD, and we all live happily ever after...The field of Behavior-Aided Design (BAD) has begun. -- Archimage- Common Edge
Smart Everyday Nighttime Design Aims to Use Light as a Means to Build Better Communities: Working out of a UNESCO world heritage site in Cartagena...a research project that aims to use light as a means to build better communities...This documentary, produced by PLANE-SITE, presents the project’s findings and explains the research process and the resulting prototype. -- Arup; Leni Schwendinger- ArchDaily
Ben Myers: Toronto urban planning: What is a shadow worth? When it comes to new housing, many of the suggestions and concerns from locals are completely justified, yet others are complete nonsense. How does a planner, a policy maker and a city cut through the frivolous complaints...Planners understand the need for intensification, infill projects, and taller towers on the avenues, but current zoning makes shadows, privacy and neighbourhood character worth thousands of units.- Toronto Storeys
Christopher Hume: Mirvish + Gehry Toronto’s second act: When word dropped that Great Gulf has taken over David Mirvish’s two Frank Gehry-designed towers, many observers were shocked. But those intimately involved with the deal insist it’s good news; the project will go ahead as designed...Though both towers have been approved by the city, many issues remain unresolved. [images]- Toronto Storeys
John King: Proposed Oakland towers put old treasures at risk: This isn’t to say that tall, 21st century buildings shouldn’t join the already eclectic cityscape. What’s important is that they enjoy the jostle with the past...The most vivid example of that tension...18 stories of offices would fill a vacant lot and restore the Key System Building, a seven-story classical treasure from 1911...1100 Broadway project would offer long-needed salvation...But the priority remains the same: to pack in as much space as possible...the old is belittled by the new...Oakland...needs to keep pushing developers to treat the downtown landscape with more respect. -- Gensler [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Blake Gopnik: Reviving the Joy of Decoration at Nike’s New SoHo Building: With a nod to a more ornate past, a new structure designed by BKSK Architects at 529 Broadway belongs entirely to the present: Unlike many so-called “bauble buildings” that are popping up in the city...one of the most exciting and intelligent structures to be built for decades, anywhere...a visual essay on the varied flamboyance that had come to the street before it...exuberant detailing...fine, thoughtful and varied...It conveys a sense of generosity. [images]- New York Times
Steven Litt: Cleveland is growing from inside out, with room to add 130,000 on East Side: ...according to a new study released by Cleveland State University's Center for Population Dynamics...The city's housing strategy, therefore, should "leverage this 'inside out' pattern with a focus on the hardest hit areas that are adjacent to the urban core"...But how much new housing could or should be built? And how would it affect the city's population?- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Wanda Lau: How to Advance in Architecture and More from the 2017 AIA Women's Leadership Summit: ...biennial event offered strategies to promote equitable practices in the profession and to make it to the C-suite in the design profession: ...not dominated by stories of discrimination or sexism...Rather, it focused on how obstacles can become opportunities to grow, to right a wrong, and to, per the summit theme, “create tailwinds": It’s Not How You Fall, But How You Get Up; Accept that Work–Life Balance is a Fallacy; etc.- Architect Magazine
Rhys Philips: Because it’s 2017: Gender Diversity in Canada’s Architecture Profession: The state of diversity...has been under increasing scrutiny both inside and outside of Canada: The strong number of women training to become architects is promising. But unequal progress in practice representation raises key questions. What are the barriers to retention, as well as advancement to leadership levels? And, why is Quebec significantly ahead? ...surveys over the last 15 years have suggested a plethora of barriers to women staying in architecture.- Canadian Architect
In A Male Dominated Field, Women Make Up Only 30% of Architects in USA: Nathan Yau collected U.S. Census data between 1950 and 2015 to create a set of visualizations that demonstrate how the diversity of the workforce has evolved...It's not entirely surprising that architects fall towards the male spectrum... -- FlowingData- ArchDaily
Jackie Craven: Look To These Organizations: Resources for Women in Architecture and Related Professions: Many excellent associations are working to improve the status of women in the field of architecture and other male-dominated careers.- ThoughtCo.
Jackie Craven: 20 Women Architects To Know: The role that women have played in architecture and building has been historically overlooked...trailblazers from the past and present day. -- Zaha Hadid; Denise Scott Brown/Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates/VSBA; Neri Oxman; Julia Morgan; Eileen Gray; Amanda Levete/AL_A; Elizabeth Diller/Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Annabelle Selldorf; Maya Lin; Norma Merrick Sklarek; Odile Decq; Marion Mahony Griffin; Kazuyo Sejima/SANAA; Anne Griswold Tyng; Florence Knoll; Anna Keichline; Susana Torre; Louise Blanchard Bethune; Carme Pigem/RCR Arquitectes; Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang- ThoughtCo.
Being a top employer for women doesn't end with paid maternity leave: Working Mother magazine's 2017 list of 100 Best Companies.,..selected based on the level of female representation and advancement and their policies on parental leave, benefits, flextime and childcare...top companies get "A's" for having family-friendly policies, but still need to improve the numbers of women in top leadership roles.- HR Dive
"Complexity: Dutch & American Housing" Symposium, University of Minnesota School of Architecture, Minneapolis, October 6 - 8: will explore the similarities and differences between the way housing is designed, developed, and constructed in the Netherlands and the U.S., as a way to create new practices.- University of Minnesota School of Architecture
rise Inaugurates "rise in the city" in New York City on October 25: The non-profit is hosting an art-filled fundraiser, auctioning 100 works of art by architects, designers, and artists for the organization's inaugural project: expanding and upgrading of an orphanage in Lesotho, Africa.- ArchNewsNow.com
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