Today’s News - Thursday, March 22, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, March 27.
● Hagberg Fisher's must-read Q&A with Kamin re: the differences between "writing and reporting on architecture's #MeToo moment": "There is this question of, can people who do bad things make good or great architecture? The field has to confront this - this is a watershed moment - time's up on denial."
● Cramer pens an open letter to the men of architecture: "Gentlemen, Let's be honest: The architecture profession still smells like a men's club. We may not like to think so, but - can we admit that the burgeoning #MeToo movement makes many of us ... uncomfortable?"
● Subramanian offers a fascinating look at how Doshi "bent Le Corbusier's Modernism to the needs of India. The Chandigarh project brought him mixed satisfaction - buildings looked as if they'd been imported whole and plunked down in India - it had streets and open spaces," but "it had no life."
● Anklesaria, a Brooklyn-based architect who studied at CEPT and worked in Doshi's office, cheers his Pritzker win, but is not so cheery about much of the media coverage, which seemed to have "an eagerness to fit the contribution of the man into a neat box" that "exposes a certain state of contemporary culture where practices of resistance are few and far between" (NYT's coverage "was particularly reductive, if not offensive, to those more familiar with the work").
● Kamin & Ori parse the "behind-the-scenes debate" over a plan for an aerial tram linking Chicago's Riverwalk to Navy Pier: Backers "say it will give Chicago an iconic tourist attraction on a par with the London Eye - opponents contend that it would be an eyesore, crowd the narrow Riverwalk, and compete with tour boats."
● Brownell considers lead, "both a Gehry favorite and a material pariah - paint suppliers in Kenya evidently prefer to continue selling lead-rich paint. In both cases, human health is considered peripheral to function, economics, and aesthetics."
● Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee fame takes on a new role as new chair of Harvard Graduate School of Design Architecture Department.
● Four finalists in the running for Harvard GSD's 2018 Wheelwright Prize, and $100,000 travel research grant, hail from Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S.
● Call for entries reminder: 2018 Innovation By Design Awards early bird registration deadline (save money!) ends today!
● Call for entries: 2018 Sustainable Design Versatility Awards: Moonshot: A Lumber Lunar Colony: No-Fee Student Architect Competition
● Open House San Diego opens this weekend - "a sprawling showcase that will open up 84 architecturally significant sites across the city."
● Kamin considers the "Concrete Chicago Map" an "admirable but imperfect effort. By starting an informed dialogue, the new map gives the best structures of this often-maligned material a fighting chance to survive."
● A round-up of 101 movies about cities, from documentaries and shorts to "science fictions and dystopias imagining our sometimes-bleak urban future, and cinematic classics-turned-totems for the places we live and love."
● "Metrophysics": Work on The City by Michael Sorkin Studio and Terreform at CCNY "foregrounds projects rooted in the urban from a team that operates as a 'traditional' architectural studio and as a research practice that formulates its own agenda of investigation and intervention."
● Madsen seems quite taken with "Do Ho Suh: Almost Home" at D.C.'s Smithsonian American Art Museum: his "ability to recall and reproduce places makes him perhaps the most compelling architectural artist alive. The work is hauntingly familiar while an earnest expression of his deeply personal spatial experiences."
● Moore parses the high-tech presented in "Superstructures: the New Architecture 1960-1990" at Foster's Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts: "In its desire to slip loose the surly bonds of Earth, hi-tech can suffer pratfalls when it meets human reality" ("kitsch" and "retail fungus" included).
● In Madrid, "Joaquín Vaquero Palacios: The Beauty of the Colossal. Asturias, 1954-1980" tells the "untold story of the architect who turned Spain's modernist power plants into art" with models, original sketches - and fab photos by Luis Asín (take a look!).
● In Berlin, "Rural moves - the Songyang story" showcases Chinese architect Xu Tiantian's work in the county: "In less than four years, she has built a series of aesthetic public buildings" by adopting local building materials and landscape, and residents' needs.
● Leblanc has a few quibbles about "Toronto Architecture: A City Guide": "Where McHugh came off as cheerleader, trying to infect readers with a 'get out there and see it!' bug, Bozikovic sometimes treats his entries as a place for criticism that can border on cruelty - perhaps the sad reality is that the only way to sell walking tour books in the 21st century is to favor arsenic over architectural lace."
● O'Sullivan cheers Bronstein's "Pseudo-Georgian London," a "photogenic and tongue-in-cheek look at the commonly reviled design trend" and "a re-appraisal of a critically reviled architectural style that is unlikely to end up heavily featured in any histories."
● Wills cheers Benedik's "Masterworks of Architectural Drawing from the Albertina Museum," and spotlights "some of the most compelling selections - which double as a pretty good argument against our computer-obsessed present."
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Eva Hagberg Fisher: Q&A: Blair Kamin on Writing and Reporting on Architecture’s #MeToo Moment: ...[he] wrote an article [about] the allegations against Meier. I...had some questions about how this story (and others like it) are covered..."There is this question of, can people who do bad things make good or great architecture? ...I do think the answer is yes...The field has to confront this, for many reasons...this is a watershed moment...time’s up on denial...The culture of architecture has often forgiven a multitude of sins...Is the design media ecosystem...examining these issues...holding powerful people to account?" -- Robin Pogrebin; Gertrude Kerbis; Carol Ross Barney; Daniela Soleri- Common Edge
Ned Cramer: Men of Architecture: An open letter from editor-in-chief Cramer to the men of architecture, about sexism, professional culture, and personal responsibility: Gentlemen, Let’s be honest: The architecture profession still smells like a men’s club. We may not like to think so, but it’s a statistical fact. And can we admit that the burgeoning #MeToo movement makes many of us ... uncomfortable? I don’t have all the answers. Neither do you. That’s not a cop-out.- Architect Magazine
Samanth Subramanian: How Balkrishna Doshi Bent Le Corbusier’s Modernism to the Needs of India: The 90-year-old architect, who won this year’s Pritzker Prize, believes that architecture should be informed by empathy: He committed early to sustainability - not necessarily out of any premonition about the environment but because to be sustainable was to be local...The Chandigarh project...brought [him] mixed satisfaction...buildings...looked as if they’d been imported whole and plunked down in India...[It] had streets and open spaces...it had no life.- New Yorker
Sarosh Anklesaria: Pritzker Prize winner Balkrishna Doshi forges an architecture of place in an age of placelessness: It would be impossible to write a history of the modern architecture of India or...of the non-western world, without acknowledging B.V. Doshi’s seminal contributions...Yet for all the tributes...there was an eagerness to fit the contribution of the man...into a neat box. Robin Pogrebin’s piece in The New York Times...was particularly reductive, if not offensive, to those more familiar with the work...belatedly acknowledging his legacy...exposes a certain state of contemporary culture where practices of resistance are few and far between.- The Architect's Newspaper
Blair Kamin & Ryan Ori: Behind-the-Scenes Debate Grows Over Chicago's Plan for Riverside Aerial Tram to Navy Pier: With the character of the Chicago Riverwalk and millions of dollars in tourist revenue at stake...an ambitious plan ...that would link two of downtown's most popular attractions, Navy Pier and the Riverwalk...backers...say it will give Chicago an iconic tourist attraction on a par with the London Eye...opponents contend that [it] would be an eyesore...crowd the narrow Riverwalk...[and] compete with tour boats run by the Chicago Architecture Foundation...- Chicago Tribune
Blaine Brownell: Lead: Both a Frank Gehry Favorite and a Material Pariah: Why do architects and designers still specify dangerous substances? ...lead cladding proved to be its [Gehry's lead fish] downfall: Students were forbidden from touching the shingles, and cleaning...required...hazmat gear...Presumably...[he was] aware of lead’s potential risks yet remained infatuated with the material...Meanwhile, paint suppliers in Kenya evidently prefer to continue selling lead-rich paint...In both cases, human health is considered peripheral to function, economics, and aesthetics. -- International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Red List- Architect Magazine
Harvard GSD appoints Mark Lee as new chair of architecture: Lee has taught as a design critic at GSD since 2013 and brings years of real-world experience to the post, having co-founded the practice Johnston Marklee in 1998 and served as co-artistic director of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.- The Architect's Newspaper
Four Finalists Announced for Harvard Graduate School of Design's 2018 Wheelwright Prize: ...a $100,000 travel research-based grant available to early-career architects worldwide...finalists are from Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States...A winner will be named in April. -- Aude-Line Duliere; José Esparza Chong Cuy/Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Gustavo Utrabo/Aleph Zero; Catty Dan Zhang/Axi:Ome- ArchDaily
Call for entries reminder (early bird registration deadline - save money! - ends today!): 2018 Innovation By Design Awards; categories include Spaces, Place, and Cities; Social Good; Experimental; Workplace; Students; etc.; submission deadline: May 10- Fast Company / Co.Design
Call for entries: 2018 Sustainable Design Versatility Awards: Moonshot: A Lumber Lunar Colony: No-Fee Student Architect Competition: The year is 2035...explore the uses of wood as the primary building material for a lunar live/work space within dome(s); open to students currently enrolled in accredited architecture programs in North America; deadline: August 25- Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association
Open House San Diego opens this weekend: San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) will present its annual OHSD program, a sprawling showcase that will open up 84 architecturally significant sites across the city for public viewing...March 24 and 25- The Architect's Newspaper
Blair Kamin: Can't Stand Concrete Buildings? "Concrete Chicago Map" May Change Your Mind: Concrete is a tough material, and tough to love...a two-sided hunk of paper that gathers many of the area's top concrete designs for what is, in effect, a group portrait - one aimed at preventing the better ones from being smashed to bits..."Proactive preservation," the map's editor, Chicago's Iker Gil, calls this admirable but imperfect effort...By starting an informed dialogue, the new map gives the best structures of this often-maligned material a fighting chance to survive.- Chicago Tribune
101 movies about cities: Recommended viewing from Curbed contributors and film critics: There are documentaries and shorts showcasing city life; science fictions and dystopias imagining our sometimes-bleak urban future; and cinematic classics-turned-totems for the places we live and love.- Curbed
"Metrophysics": Work on The City by Michael Sorkin Studio and Terreform: ...foregrounds projects rooted in the urban, including buildings and sites designed with both practical and polemical intent. The work is from a team that operates as a “traditional” architectural studio responding to clients and as a research practice that formulates its own agenda of investigation and intervention. CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture, New York City, thru May 4- CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture
Deane Madsen: "Do Ho Suh: Almost Home" at Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian American Art Museum: ...[his] ability to recall and reproduce places makes him perhaps the most compelling architectural artist alive...exhibition...explores the intersections of space, time, and memory...he transforms memories of his homes into habitable spaces that are site-specific despite having been removed from their respective sites...The work is hauntingly familiar while an earnest expression of his deeply personal spatial experiences. thru August 5 [images]- Architectural Record
Rowan Moore: 40 years of hi-tech: from the Sainsbury Centre to Apple Park: In 1978, Norman Foster’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia was a gleaming vision of the future..."Superstructures: the New Architecture 1960-1990" there celebrates a distinctly British architecture driven by free-form technology and high ideals: Hi-tech was, or is, a broad set of social objectives...combined with a faith that modern building techniques could help achieve them...In its desire to slip loose the surly bonds of Earth...hi-tech can suffer pratfalls when it meets human reality. thru September 2 -- Foster + Partners; Richard Rogers; Renzo Piano; Nicholas Grimshaw; Michael and Patty Hopkins- Observer (UK)
The untold story of the architect who turned Spain’s modernist power plants into art: Joaquín Vaquero Palacios created some of the finest examples of 20th-century modernist Spanish industrial buildings...photographer Luis Asín was commissioned to create a new series of visuals...alongside a selection of unseen old models, original sketches, period photographs and industrial objects, are now part of the exhibition (and accompanying book), "Joaquín Vaquero Palacios: The Beauty of the Colossal. Asturias, 1954-1980" / "Joaquín Vaquero Palacios. La belleza de lo descomunal. Asturias, 1954-1980" at the Museo ICO in Madrid, thru May 6 [images]- Wallpaper*
China story of countryside architecture design showcased in Berlin: "Rural moves - the Songyang story"...showcases...Chinese architect Xu Tiantian's project in Songyang county...In less than four years, Xu, in cooperation with local government, has built series of aesthetic public buildings...She adopted local building materials and integrated local landscape and residents' needs with her architectural design. Aedes Architecture Forum, thru June 17- Xinhua News (China)
Dave Leblanc: "Toronto Architecture: A City Guide": Where Patricia McHugh came off as cheerleader, trying to infect readers with a “get out there and see it!” bug, Alex Bozikovic sometimes treats his entries...as a place for criticism that can border on cruelty...it’s not just that I disagree with these assessments; who wants a guidebook that tells the reader what not to look at? ...perhaps the sad reality is that the only way to sell walking tour books in the 21st century is to favour arsenic over architectural lace.- Canadian Architect
Feargus O'Sullivan: An Artistic Twist on London's Pseudo-Georgian Architecture: A photogenic and tongue-in-cheek look at the commonly reviled design trend that signifies London’s luxury housing boom: Pablo Bronstein’s "Pseudo-Georgian London"...also a re-appraisal of...a critically reviled architectural style that is both one of the most ubiquitous and least commented on of recent decades...This housing may have suggested...a tradition of family domesticity, but the reality of life in Georgian housing had actually been rather different...architecture of this type is unlikely to end up heavily featured in any histories. [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Eric Wills: The Best Architectural Drawings from the Albertina Museum: The Vienna-based museum has published a book and mounted an exhibition featuring the most compelling images from its celebrated archives: ...the collection in its full scope and breadth has never before been celebrated. "Masterworks of Architectural Drawing from the Albertina Museum" by Christian Benedik...remedies that oversight...we spotlight some of the most compelling selections...which double as a pretty good argument against our computer-obsessed present. [images]- Architect Magazine
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