Today’s News - Thursday, October 12, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: A very stuffed news day! But you'll have lots of time to take it all in. Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, October 17.

●  ANN feature: Apurva Bose Dutta introduces us to her new book, "Architectural Voices of India: A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos," and highlights some of the thoughtful voices she encountered.

●  Indian architect Sriprakash ponders "an enormous push" for affordable housing, but factors like the environment, climate, and the community "don't feature much in India's Smart Cities plan to create 100 hi-tech urban hubs that activists say will force tens of thousands of people from their slum homes."

●  Hume minces no words about how "the mind boggles at the short-sightedness" of a proposal to hand over a chunk of Toronto's waterfront to the movie industry: "the ingredients for urban excellence are all there. Alas - intelligence is conspicuous in its absence."

●  O'Sullivan lights up over the pilot research project "City Lights, Nighttime Design" in Cartagena, Colombia, that offers "some fascinating answers" to what street lighting can do for a neighborhood to "help boost a combined sense of pride and security."

●  Walliss offers a critical (and rather amusing) take on Koolhaas and Gianotten's lecture in Melbourne: "As a general rule, it is always dangerous to explain the characteristics of a country to its own audience - this played out rather painfully."

●  Brussat bemoans that, while "Modernists have no problem staking their claims for the truth of their stylistic conceits, both the new urbanists and even the advocates of new traditional architecture often mix too much self-doubt into their support for the architecture of beauty."

●  Anderton's great Q&A with the "plucky advocate for women architects" Beverly Willis re: "the profession (and its insularity), her changing views of urban planning, and her mission to put a spotlight on women in the profession" (and receiving a well-deserved AIACC lifetime achievement award at the Monterey Design Conference this weekend!).

●  Eyefuls of the four finalists in The Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition.


●  Call for entries: Sydney Affordable Housing Challenge (international).

●  Call for entries: Open International Contest for Standard Housing and Residential Development in Russia (note: window must be opened wide for Register/Login button at top right).

●  Call for entries: Designs for Cartasia 2018 International Paper Biennial in Lucca, Italy.

●  Call for entries: New Centre of Borovets International Architectural Competition for "The Golden Triangle" in Bulgaria's mountain resort.

Weekend diversions:

●  ArchiFlix Architecture and Design Film Festival rolls into Melbourne, starting today.

●  The Biennale d'Architecture d'Orléans #1: Walking through someone else's dream, kicks off tomorrow.

●  Keegan considers the 2nd Chicago Architecture Biennial to be "more focused" than the first, "but still there's further to go"; perhaps the next round should "look further back in history than a 2009 slogan from Ed Ruscha."

●  Hong hails Ai Weiwei's "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" with its more than 300 pieces across NYC's five boroughs: "Some of the works might be easy to miss. But others are unmistakable and grandiose."

●  Moore is quite taken by Pezo, von Ellrichshausen, and Varini's "A Hall for Hull" that "has handsomeness and presence," and Furman's "The Roman Singularity," a "candy-colored miniature cityscape" that may be small, but "is more potent than many more sprawling shows."

●  Furman, meanwhile, issues a manifesto about a "the town hall as democratic monument - we can create buildings that embody us, our collective dreams, and our sense of communal identity."

●  Byrnes delves into the fascinating saga of Burr's "Body/Building," and the "complicated second life" of Breuer's gutted Brutalist icon in New Haven, Connecticut.

Page turners:

●  Goldberger parses Goldhagen's "Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives," a "long and thorough treatise": her descriptions "are gems of fresh perception and clear expression. She can be stern, but she is not cynical."

●  Petrus parses Sagalyn's "Power at Ground Zero," a "story of cutthroat politics, of the tension between tragedy and opportunity, personalities, egos, and ambitions - a solid work of contemporary history, consistently lucid and sharp."

●  Roberts reads Doctoroff's "Greater Than Ever: New York's Big Comeback," in which the former city official "justifies both his own evangelical means and visionary ends in reshaping" the post-9/11 city.

●  Blumgart is fairly convinced by Mayne's "Slums: The History of a Global Injustice" and the urban historian's conviction that it's high time to retire the word "slum."

●  de Graaf's "Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession" is an "original and even occasionally hilarious book about losing ideals and finding them again," and "deftly shows that architecture cannot be better or more pure than the flawed humans who make it."

●  Minutillo's Q&A with de Graaf re: "Four Walls and a Roof," a "blunt" book that "takes an idiosyncratic look at architectural history and dissects contemporary practice - from the quotidian (and sometimes comic) frustrations to the occasional triumphs and memorable failures."

●  Cheng cheers Watson's "The Poisoned Chalice: Peter Hall and the Sydney Opera House," a "carefully researched study into the often misunderstood story of an architect that history had unkindly cast aside" (Utzon as a "wronged genius" is a "myth").


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