Today’s News - Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rather discouraging - but also hopeful - news today:

●  Journalist and Cairo resident El Rashidi describes the demolition of the Maspero Triangle, a historic part of the city, and its cost in terms of heritage, characters, and customs: The "government must stop looking outward to mimic other parts of the world."

●  Australian architects call for "a level playing field" in the tender process for Sydney's controversial relocation plan for the Powerhouse Museum - it's "not about protectionism - a craving by Australian clients for starchitect-designed buildings doesn't necessarily result in the best work by that big-name architect."

●  U.K. architects mince no words about what they think of the new Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, headed by Scruton, as "an attempt to recreate an 'a-historical fantasy [to] appeal to blinkered, quasi-fascist old white men'" (ouch!).

●  Moore uses Heatherwick's Instagramable Coal Drop Yards shopping mall as the jumping-off point to air his architectural "quibbles" about the entire King's Cross development and its "over-managed feel": It is "an impressive achievement" - but... (great read).

●  Some development going on around the V&A Dundee "could condemn Dundee's waterfront to 'cheap mediocrity'" of "undistinguished steel-framed boxes - a 'kitsch Las Vegas' would be preferable."

●  TCLF adds the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College to its list of "at-risk landscapes" - the college "has a foundation that hopes to raise money to preserve the Hall."

On to brighter news:

●  King on the Bay Area's housing debate "dissected in a fascinating trio of pieces by J.K. Dineen - first there were NIMBYS. Now, meet YIMBYs."

●  An uplifting report about how Syrian refugees and Jordanians are optimistic about "a pilot project to retrofit and build affordable green homes" that is "solving the dual issues of housing and community cohesion."

●  University of Cape Town researcher Suzanne Lambert uses human urine to create "a zero-waste building material" that "could be a real alternative to traditional bricks" in a process that "creates nitrogen and potassium - good for fertilizer - as by-products" (cool!).

●  Minutillo brings us an eloquent tour of the Menil Drawing Institute by Johnston Marklee in Houston, "a stunning composition of bent steel that is outwardly subtle but at moments quite dramatic - it achieves a quiet monumentality - more akin to sculpture than architecture."

●  A profile of Chandra Moore, an African-American woman architect who "is bringing fresh ideas to big projects in Detroit": "This is a good time to be a woman architect. The world is changing right now, and women are ready to take charge" (she's working on a project with Saundra Little, another African-American woman architect - yay!).

●  A report from the 46th National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) 2018 conference themed "Unbounded" that leapt "beyond typical conference fare of newfangled products, technology innovations and business strategies" with "a deeper message of inclusivity, solidarity and support," and broke "out of the confines of stuffy hotel rooms."

●  The NYT and WSJ report that Amazon will split its HQ2 between Crystal City, Virginia, and Long Island City in Queens, New York, "driven by the need to recruit enough tech talent" and ease "potential housing and transit problems caused by a sudden influx of tens of thousands of workers" ("Amazon declined to comment").

●  Betsky cheers DS+R's "Mile-Long Opera: A Biography of 7 O'Clock" that "sadly, lasted for only a few days on New York's High Line - we need a Mile-Long Opera every night, in every city, and at every scale. Architecture should sing the city alive, and the Opera did that" (great pix!).

●  Dezeen's Bauhaus 100 series celebrates "the most influential art and design school in history" on its 100th anniversary with profiles of the school's key figures and projects.

●  Architect of the Capitol Ayers is stepping down after serving 11 years (and three presidents) - the AIA "will convene a task force to determine candidates to recommend."


●  Call for Proposals: 1st International Conference on Urban Experience and Design: Ux+Design 2019.

●  Call for entries: The Pavilosta Poet Huts Competition for a retreat within the quiet fishing village on the Latvian coast.

One we couldn't resist (an anthem for election day?):

●  Poon brings us Taipei's mayor who "will destroy you with his new rap video "Do things right." To the mayors of the U.S...your move."


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