Today’s News - Tuesday, October 17, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: We're hitting the road early today - and even earlier tomorrow, so there will be no newsletter Wednesday. We'll be back Thursday, October 19 (perhaps a bit late - we don't return until the wee hours of Thursday morning).
● Will Trump's UNESCO withdrawal affect Detroit's "City of Design" designation and the city's membership in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network? "As of right now, they say they're not sure."
● On a brighter note, the first phase of the Detroit Cultivator is open, proving "how the power of design and architecture can be a powerful vehicle for common progress" by combining food production, cultural activity, and civic assets.
● Hall Kaplan minces no words about LACMA's big rebuilding plans: Govan, the "over-reaching museum director, and Zumthor, "of limited museum experience and, as most architects, unlimited ambition" will leave L.A. "stuck with a bomb of a costly building."
● Phil Bernstein takes issue with Betsky's recent "Architect' Goes to Jail, World Shrugs": while he agrees that "licensure by no means assures architectural competence - Betsky's argument contains some dangerous tripwires."
● Brady considers how "architecture's cultural cachet is killing it": "The problem starts with how the public sees the profession," and architectural education that "seems to push architect-as-visual-artist perception" - and he has some ideas about how to change things.
● Hosey uses Harry Weese's Washington Metro as the jumping off point in a thoughtful piece about the pitfalls of labels and "-isms": "An -ISM can help create a larger historical context, but when used as a quick shorthand it can make a work smaller, not larger. All great work resists such simple classification."
● Pedersen has a great Q&A with Lamster re: why he calls Dallas the "Paradox City," what Amazon wants from its second host city, and his role as a critic.
● King hails Leddy Maytum Stacy's transformation of the San Francisco Art Institute's Fort Mason campus on a 1912 pier: "the confident restoration is a triumph," and shows why the firm so deserves the AIA 2017 Architecture Firm Award.
● Eyefuls of Ralph Appelbaum's glittering, glowing plans for NYC's American Museum of Natural History Halls of Gems and Minerals as the AMNH gets ready for Studio Gang's upcoming $340 million expansion.
● A "writer finds solace" along the Norwegian Scenic Routes that "have been transformed into architectural wonders," especially along the Trollstigen (troll's path)
● The Westin Anaheim Resort will be "rich with lavish landscaping and elegantly-designed, social gathering spaces" - including a rooftop deck to watch nightly fireworks at Disneyland.
● In Nashville, historic preservationists, along with TCLF, are up in arms about a controversial mixed-use development (involving T Bone Burnett) near the Civil War-era Fort Negley Park (though the dilapidated stadium does need to go).
● The WMF releases its 2018 World Monument Watch list that includes 25 cultural heritage sites (maybe Fort Negley will make the 2020 list?).
● Mock reports on the evolution of Harvard GSD's Black in Design conference, and how the school's African American Student Union has "built a movement" in only 3 years.
● Kaji-O'Grady, Dean of Architecture at the University of Queensland, minces no words about how access to architectural education is threatened under proposed funding cuts that would "slug" some students with higher costs and "risk harming the global esteem of Australian architects, academics and graduates."
● The World Architectural Festival names 11 winners in its inaugural WAFX Prize for World's Most Forward-Looking Architectural Concepts, who will be honored at WAF Berlin in November.
● The British Council for Offices names 3 finalists in the NextGen ideas competition to imagine the office of 2035.
One we couldn't resist:
● "Environmentalists proclaim the Great Pacific Garbage Patch a country - "Trash Isles" now has its own (beautiful but depressing) currency, flag, stamps, and passport, and its first citizen, fittingly, is Al Gore (his acceptance speech included).
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Could Trump's UNESCO withdrawal affect Detroit's 'City of Design' designation? ...the organization that bestowed the Motor City with the title of being a "City of Design" in 2015. Detroit was the first North American city to obtain such a designation, which joined it to UNESCO's Creative Cities Network - a group 22 international cities...As of right now, they say they're not sure. -- Detroit Creative Corridor/DC3- Detroit Metro Times
Sarah Rose Sharp: A Six-Acre Civic Commons Is Coming to Detroit’s North End: The design duo Akoaki and the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm have opened the first phase of an ambitious project known as the Detroit Cultivator...efforts demonstrate how the power of design and architecture...can be a powerful vehicle for common progress, rather than a tool used by high-end redevelopment efforts that sweep longtime residents out of neighborhoods...an “urban plan in which food production, cultural activity, and civic assets work together. -- Anya Sirota; Jean Louis Farges [images]- Hyperallergic
Sam Hall Kaplan: Edifice Complex Mars Los Angeles County Museum of Art: We do appreciate the generosity of David Geffen...But I must take strong exception to his latest burst of benevolence, $150 million to the rebuilding of LACMA...I fear if pursued the project will not only be a colossal waste of money, including substantial public funds, but would subvert the city’s cultural spirit...an over-reaching museum director, as Michael Govan apparently is...Then there is...Peter Zumthor, of limited museum experience and, as most architects, unlimited ambition...And L.A. will be stuck with a bomb of a costly building.- City Observed
Bernstein on Betsky: Yale lecturer Phillip G. Bernstein responds to Aaron Betsky’s “‘Architect’ Goes to Jail, World Shrugs”: “Hey, nobody got killed this time, so what’s the problem?”: I agree with Betsky’s conclusion that licensure by no means assures architectural competence...But his argument contains some dangerous tripwires...Calling this an “ethical” issue is like characterizing drunk driving as just an error in judgment...The “system” that [he] faults is in actuality controlled by architects...so we can only blame ourselves for their alleged faults.- Architect Magazine
Ross Brady: Architecture’s Cultural Cachet is Killing It: Exalting as it may be, the cultural esteem that often surrounds architecture is actually detrimental to it, since it fosters a perception that providing visual distinction is the primary value of an architect’s work, ahead of providing functional shelter...This problem starts with how the public sees the profession...Architectural education seems to push the same architect-as-visual-artist perception...How to fix this? Architects could start by...- Common Edge
Lance Hosey: What’s in an -ISM? “As soon as you label a concept, you change how people perceive it": The role of the critic or any public advocate for architecture...should be to help our audiences glimpse the full breadth and depth of the works we describe. An -ISM can help create a larger historical context, but when used as a quick shorthand it can make a work smaller, not larger. All great work resists such simple classification...- Huffington Post
Martin C. Pedersen: Mark Lamster on Why He Calls Dallas the “Paradox City”: A talk with the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News: ...about the issues facing Dallas...what Amazon wants from its second host city, and his role as a critic..."I refer to Dallas as the “Paradox City,” because so much of what it does is paradoxical. We have a light rail system that has more rail miles than any other system in the country. But it has incredibly low ridership. So we have the most tracks, and the fewest people riding on them."- Common Edge
John King: Architects nail design of San Francisco Art Institute’s Fort Mason campus: The immersive yet understated conversion of a military pier into an art school...will only gain character as students make it their own. But it already shows why the design firm involved, Leddy Maytum Stacy, is the architecture profession’s firm of the year...The project involves the historic preservation of a 1912 structure...the confident restoration is a triumph. -- AIA 2017 Architecture Firm Award [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Museum of Natural History reveals designs for new Halls of Gems and Minerals: ...a 12-foot-tall, 9,000+ pound amethyst geode from Uruguay (one of the largest in the world) that will anchor [the gallery]. Ralph Appelbaum Associates is handling the renovation...being designed in anticipation of AMNH’s upcoming $340 million expansion by starchitect Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang. [images]- 6sqft (New York City)
Ondine Cohane: In Norway, the Journey Is the Destination: A writer finds solace on scenic remote roads, which have been transformed into architectural wonders: ...Trollstigen, or the troll’s path, remains a spectacular example of the power of engineering in a remote region...Norway has become a hot bed for young and midcareer architects...Norwegian Scenic Routes...a 30-plus year undertaking to transform 18 of Norway’s highways into cultural destinations...So far 144 projects have been built, with 46 more on the horizon... -- Reiulf Ramstad Architects; Ghilardi & Hellsten Architects; Jensen & Skodvin [images]- New York Times
Lifescapes International to design landscaping for Westin Anaheim Resort: ...$245 million development...will offer more than 600 rooms within a 630,000 square-foot environment, rich with lavish landscaping and elegantly-designed, social gathering spaces. -- Michael Hong Architects; Harley Ellis Devereaux/HED; Dianna Wong Architecture & Interior Design [images]- PRISM
Fort Negley Park recognized as a threatened cultural landscape by national foundation: ...historic preservationists fight a controversial mixed-use development near the Civil War-era fort...as one of a dozen nationally significant landscapes that are at-risk...built by slaves and freed slaves, has entered the spotlight...with controversial plans to redevelop next-door...into Cloud Hill, a mixed-use development... -- The Cultural Landscape Foundation/TCLF- The Tennessean
World Monuments Fund Announces 2018 World Monument Watch: Includes 25 cultural heritage sites spanning more than 30 countries and territories that face daunting threats, including human conflict, natural disaster, climate change, and urbanization, or present unique conservation opportunities. [images]- World Monuments Fund/WMF
Brentin Mock: Black Design Still Matters: In 2014, students of color at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design were wondering how they could better impact social justice issues...they’ve built a movement: The Black in Design conference...featured presentations from some of the top names in design and social activism, including Hamza Walker, Walter Hood, Sharon Sutton, and DeRay Mckesson. Not bad for a student-led movement that began less than three years ago...Harvard announced that it’s launching the African American Design Nexus... -- Cara Michell/Brook McIlRoy; Phil Freelon; Toni Griffin/J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City/Just City Lab; Maurice Cox; BlackSpace- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Sandra Kaji-O’Grady: Access to architectural education threatened under proposed funding cuts
The Australian government's funding cuts to higher education is poised to slug students of five-year degrees, such as architecture, an extra $4,500. Worse still, the proposed “scholarship system” for post-graduate coursework will limit access to Master of Architecture programs...cuts...risk harming the global esteem of Australian architects, academics and graduates.- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Winners Announced of Inaugural WAFX Prize for World’s Most Forward-Looking Architectural Concepts: World Architectural Festival has announced the 11 winners of their newest award...WAF, Berlin, November 15-17. -- Paul Lukez Architecture; Surbana Jurong Consultants; White Arkitekter; Building Community around Food/University of Arkansas Community Design Center; GAD Architecture; Sweco Architects; SHAU; SAAHA AS; LAVA Berlin/schlaich bergermann partner; Abdullah Ahmed N AlDabbous; Hermann Kamte & Associates [images]- ArchDaily
British Council for Offices announces 3 finalists in NextGen ideas competition: imagining the office of 2035 -- Jennifer Barnes (Futurecity)/Laura Hannigan (AKTII)/Annabel Koeck (Grimshaw)/Amelia Maxwell (Lendlease); Michelle Wilkie/Nicola Matthews (tp bennett)/Chris Campbell (Norman Disney Young)/Michael Stanton (Honest brand); Borja Marcaida (Sheppard Robson)/Tom Place (Arup)/Craig Chatley (Gardiner & Theobald)/Maxwell Ikin (Cundall) [images]- Malcolm Reading Consultants / British Council for Offices
Environmentalists Proclaim Great Pacific Garbage Patch a Country, Design National Identity: Can an island of garbage become a nation? The founders of “Trash Isles” are working to realize their vision and raise awareness about this environmental scourge: ...mass of garbage roughly as large as France that floats in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean...Plastic Oceans Foundation and...LADbible submitted an application for nationhood to the United Nations.- Hyperallergic
ANN feature: 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
ANN feature: Apurva Bose Dutta: "Architectural Voices of India: A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos": The architectural journalist talks about how and why her first book came together, and highlights some of the thoughtful voices she encountered.- ArchNewsNow.com
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