Today’s News - Wednesday, March 11, 2020
● McDonald cheers Grafton's Farrell and McNamara going "from small-town Ireland to architecture stars" - winners of the 2020 Pritzker Prize and the 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal "have come a long way, yet neither of them became divas" - their "stellar" career is "simply because they are so good at what they do."
● Overstreet considers what's next for women in design: More women "are gaining the recognition that they deserve," but "men are the face of the profession - creating a repeated system of not including women in positions of power. The battle for equality in design is far from over. If anything, it has just begun."
● Joyner turns the table on Madame Architect founder Julia Gamolina in a Q&A re: "her career, expertise in communications, thoughts on women in architecture, and some of the powerful lessons she's learned on her multi-dimensional journey."
● A round-up of "50 women rocking the world of architecture. They have proven that, while often faced with marginalization, it is possible to rise to the top and get extraordinary things built" (a great list - we can think of a few others!).
● Behre blasts the proposed "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" executive order: "A more useful step would be to urge the GSA to work even more closely with communities - it should empower, not restrict, local voices wherever they plan to build."
● Piccolo parses efforts to defeat social and urban barriers in a Rio favela: "City planning and urban interventions can be precious tools in overcoming physical barriers. They can also perpetuate the status quo" (a Niemeyer-designed pedestrian bridge "intended to foster connectivity" was one effort).
● Architectural lighting guru Linnaea Tillett raises the alarm about the "worldwide trend to embed Smart City data collection devices and surveillance technologies into street furniture" - with street light poles playing a key role: "As lighting designers working in the public realm, we are very concerned. This is proceeding rapidly without meaningful oversight and accountability."
● A redesign of Korb & Associates Architects' Ascent mass timber apartment tower in Milwaukee that would see it grow to 25 stories gets the city's planning commission's endorsement as samples of its wood floors are tested for fire safety in San Antonio ("wooden columns already tested successfully").
● Waldek reports on the battle brewing in Oslo to keep a building damaged by a car bomb in tact instead of moving Picasso murals and bulldozing the building.
● A lovely profile of Edward Daugherty, ".the dean of Atlanta landscape architects," who, at 93, is still designing - perhaps "his equanimity comes from a lifetime of building tranquil places."
COVID-19 and A/E/C industry (sigh):
● Peters ponders "what would happen if the world reacted to climate change like it's reacting to the coronavirus - there are similarities" (public health, anyone?).
● NYT's tech columnist Roose pens "a few words of caution" from a "quarantine bunker" in his dining room, where he's "getting plenty of work done, but what remote workers gain in productivity, they often miss in harder-to-measure benefits like creativity and innovative thinking - I can't wait to go back to work."
● Walsh wonders whether the coronavirus is "the beginning of the end of offices. Architects may be called to design a new, not-yet-realized typology of space," which "leads to a question of what happens to existing office typologies."
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Frank McDonald: Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara: from smalltown Ireland to architecture stars: Grafton Architects founders and winners [of the] 2020 Pritzker Prize have come a long way, yet they remain as grounded as ever: Even though they’re now laden with top-notch architectural awards and medals...neither of them became divas...have been in practice together for more than 40 years - managed to carve out stellar careers in a profession still dominated by men, simply because they are so good at what they do. Being women was never a handicap to their success...2018 Venice Biennale, “freespace”...cemented their international reputation... -- Níall McLaughlin; Shane O’Toole- The Irish Times
Kaley Overstreet: A Look Ahead: What’s Next for the Women in Design Movement? ...it’s important to reflect upon and acknowledge the progress that women across all design professions have made over the last several years...[more] are gaining the recognition that they deserve in this traditionally male-dominated profession...since this still is a male-dominated industry, men are the face of the profession...creating a repeated system of not including women in positions of power...society still puts weight on the idea of a “starchitect”, which again, is a male-dominated field...The battle for equality in design is far from over. If anything, it has just begun... -- Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Gensler- ArchDaily
Sean Joyner: A Conversation with Julia Gamolina, Founder of Madame Architect: ...she founded back in 2018. She has climbed the professional ladder, now Director of Strategy at Trahan Architects...Q&A re: her career, expertise in communications, thoughts on women in architecture, and some of the powerful lessons she's learned on her multi-dimensional journey..."firms are waking up to the fact that they need to provide flexibility, not just for women but for men as well, and not just for parents but for people in general to live a full life... my gender has no influence on my expertise..."- Archinect
50 Women Rocking the World of Architecture: These influential women are busy proving that the future (of architecture) is female: They have proven that, while often faced with marginalization, it is possible to rise to the top and get extraordinary things built. -- Julia Gamolina- Architizer
Robert Behre: Trump wants to require new federal buildings to be classical. It’s a bad idea: ...[he] may sign an executive order to require the use of neoclassical design in new federal courthouses and office buildings...Waring Judicial Center reflects the tensions Charleston faces in trying to build new buildings that complement its great old ones...a more useful step would be...to urge the GSA to work even more closely with communities...The federal government is exempt from local architectural review boards; maybe that also should change...[it] should empower, not restrict, local voices wherever they plan to build. -- John Henry Devereux (1896); Gresham Smith- Charleston Post and Courier (South Carolina)
Camilla Piccolo: Defeating Social and Urban Barriers: Inequality and Urban Design in Rocinha: In Rio de Janeiro, urban barriers are a central aspect of city life...Despite Rocinha’s extreme proximity to the two affluent neighborhoods...residents are keenly aware of the presence of boundaries...City planning and urban interventions can be precious tools in overcoming physical...barriers. They can also...perpetuate the status quo...several upgrading projects...purportedly intended to foster connectivity have floundered or drawn widespread criticism for their focus on high-visibility, tourist-friendly works...Deconstructing urban barriers through urban design is fundamental to guaranteeing favela residents their right to the city, ensuring integration and equality. -- Oscar Niemeyer- RioOnWatch.org
Linnaea Tillett: Smart Lighting? Not So Fast! ...there is a worldwide trend to embed Smart City data collection devices and surveillance technologies into street furniture...Light poles play a key role...Many in the...lighting industry are on board...As lighting designers working in the public realm, we are very concerned...This is proceeding rapidly without public knowledge, debate, or oversight...Will the value of lighting design...become subservient to, or dismissed in favor of, the strategic needs of data collection? As professionals...We must be committed to transparency and argue for meaningful oversight and accountability. -- Tillett Lighting Design Associates- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
New record-breaking design approved for Ascent mass timber tower in Milwaukee: A redesign to have the apartment tower grow to 25 stories gained...Milwaukee Plan Commission endorsement...in San Antonio...a sample of the manufactured wood floors sat in a furnace...must withstand three hours of intense fire exposure while keeping its structural integrity...wooden columns already tested successfully... -- Korb & Associates Architects- Milwaukee Business Journal
Stefanie Waldek: Five Picasso Murals in Oslo Are at the Center of a Major Controversy: As part of a building complex that's slated for demolition, the murals are scheduled to be moved in the name of preservation: ...[murals] at the center of a major controversy regarding their method of preservation....Y-Block and H-Block, two modernist buildings [designed by] Erling Viksjø...In June 2011, both buildings and their murals were nominated to become heritage-listed monuments, but just one month later, a terrorist detonated a car bomb...Preservationists...advocating for the preservation of the entire site...“To keep the art without the building does not make much sense.” -- Carl Nesjar; Mari Hvattum; Graham Bell/Europa Nostra- Architectural Digest
Atlanta’s leading landscape architect, 93, still drawing: Edward Daugherty shapes the face of the city: ...the dean of Atlanta landscape architects...Sarahs’ Garden...for Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church is a respite garden, sponsored by eight churches, for caregivers of those with dementia. He’s also drawing up plans for a restoration of a sunken park...It’s possible that his equanimity comes from a lifetime of building tranquil places...His first challenge was explaining to potential customers what landscape architects do. -- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); Charles Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Adele Peters: What would happen if the world reacted to climate change like it’s reacting to the coronavirus? ...governments and citizens have been quick to change daily habits. The same hasn’t happened for the climate crisis...“We’ve seen that governments can act, and people can change their behavior, in a very short amount of time,” says May Boeve [of] 350.org. “And that’s exactly what the climate movement has been asking governments and people to do for years"...There are similarities...Both involve public health...But the overall mobilization looks nothing like the response to the coronavirus...“The entrenched power and staying with the status quo is what differentiates climate change from this particular crisis."- Fast Company
Kevin Roose: Sorry, but Working From Home Is Overrated: Home-cooked lunches and no commuting while we deal with coronavirus can’t compensate for what’s lost in creativity: I’m writing this from...quarantine bunker in my dining room...getting plenty of work done, but I’m starting to get unnerved by the lack of stimulation...fans of remote work...argue that quarantined workers are getting a glimpse of our glorious, office-free future...what remote workers gain in productivity, they often miss in harder-to-measure benefits like creativity and innovative thinking...I’m supposed to be cheering on the remote work revolution...I’ll stay home as long as [advised]. But honestly, I can’t wait to go back to work.- New York Times
Niall Patrick Walsh: Is Coronavirus the Beginning of the End of Offices? ...[virus] forced a major global ‘work-from-home’ experiment...if those [who] wanted to work from home did so part-time, it would save $700 billion across the U.S...while the savings in greenhouse gases would be the equivalent of taking the entire workforce of New York State off the road permanently...new models of work will inevitably lead to an evolution in the design of office spaces...Architects may be called to design a new, not-yet-realized typology of space...leads to a question of what happens to existing office typologies.- ArchDaily
World Trade Center blueprints, found in the trash in Denver, sold for $250,000: A man who helped design the World Trade Center moved to Denver in the 70s and kept the blueprints for decades: The trash had been sitting outside the home of Joseph Solomon, an architect who helped design the Twin Towers..."I saved the beautiful sketches...the actual architectural plans were not as nostalgic, was not something that we needed, and so I put them out with the trash," Joseph's daughter Amy Solomon told us in 2018..."it's amazing what people can find value in. I don't really think anyone can do anything with them other than build another tower."- KUSA-TV 9News (Denver)
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